In 2018, Lenzing has witnessed very positive development of speciality fibre business with revenue share exceeding 45 per cent. The group’s business developed well in the 2018 financial year with total revenue of 2.18 bn euro. However, the market environment remained challenging due to low prices for standard viscose and less favourable exchange rates.
In 2018, the company decided to continue along its ambitious path and to invest roughly 100 mn euro in sustainable manufacturing technologies and production facilities by 2022 in order to further strengthen its closed-loop model and support its customers in replacing resource-intensive and environmentally harmful solutions.
With its most recent innovations, the Lenzing group has taken important steps in this direction. After the presentation of the Refibra technology, Lenzing Ecovero branded high-performance and identifiable viscose fibres and Tencel Luxe lyocell filament yarn, Lenzing announced the successful development of the Lenzing Web Technology in 2018. This is a new technology platform with a focus on sustainable nonwoven products, which will open up new market opportunities for the industry. In a first step, 25 patent applications were filed.
“Although 2018 proofed to be more challenging than the preceding years, it was, nevertheless, the fourth best year in the company’s history. We consistently worked on the strategic imperatives of our sCore Ten corporate strategy in order to raise our pulp integration, enhance customer intimacy, increase the share of specialty fibres in revenue and to invest in new technologies and business areas,” said Stefan Doboczky, Chief Executive Officer of the Lenzing Group.
The management board and the supervisory board will propose a stable dividend of 3.00 euro per share plus a special dividend of 2.00 euro per share at the upcoming annual general meeting. In total, the paid dividend will amount to 5.00 euro per share, corresponding to a dividend payment to shareholders of roughly 133 mn euro.
“The very positive development of our speciality business in an expected challenging market environment for standard viscose confirms our strategic direction and our ambitious plans. Thanks to its specialty strategy and its strong brands based on innovation and sustainability, the Lenzing Group is significantly more resilient today than only a few years ago. However, we are not immune to global developments, and further efforts and investments in specialty fibres are required to become even more resistant to market fluctuations,” added Doboczky.
Based on the current exchange rates, the Lenzing group expects its results for 2019 to reach a similar level as in 2018 despite a much tighter market environment for standard viscose. These developments reassure the Lenzing Group in its chosen corporate strategy sCore Ten. Lenzing is very well positioned in this market environment and will continue its consistent focus on growth with specialty fibre.