• FY loss of EUR14.2m versus EUR30.6m profit
  • Revenue down 2.3% to EUR1.86bn
  • Stefan Doboczky appointed as new CEO
Polyester and viscose fibre prices were hurt by a drop in oil prices

Polyester and viscose fibre prices were hurt by a drop in oil prices

Austrian cellulosic fibre producer Lenzing Group has said operating results in 2014 exceeded expectations, with higher cost-saving targets achieved, despite swinging to a full-year net loss.

The company's net loss amounted to EUR14.2m (US$15.6m) for the 12 months to 1 December 2014, compared to a profit of EUR30.6m in the same period of the prior year.

Revenue fell by 2.3% to EUR1.86bn from EUR1.91bn a year ago, due to the sale of its plastics business unit in 2013, as well as a further fall in average fibre selling prices.

Lenzing said the drop in oil prices put downward pressure on polyester prices, which in turn additionally burdened viscose fibre prices. This was accompanied by cotton inventories “bursting at the seams” and ongoing surplus production capacities of China’s viscose fibre industry.

Despite this, sales volumes reached a record 960,000 tonnes, up 8% on the prior year. Like-for-like sales from continuing operations edged up 0.3% to EUR1.86bn from EUR1.86bn.

The company said its cost reduction programme led to savings of more than EUR100m in 2014, and will generate sustainable savings of EUR160m per year by 2016 - double the amount originally budgeted.

Separately, Lenzing has tapped Stefan Doboczky as its new CEO. Assuming the role on 1 June, Doboczky replaces Peter Untersperger.

Since 1998, Doboczky has worked in various management positions for the Dutch Life Science & Material Science group Royal DSM in Europe and Asia.

“With his international industrial expertise, his close to ten years of management experience in Asia and his strong technical background, Stefan Doboczky will strengthen the management board team and is ideally suited to lead the Lenzing Group towards further growth,” said Hanno Bästlein, chairman of the nomination committee of the supervisory board.