In 2017, the producer of cellulosic fibers Lenzing AG, Lenzing/Austria, was able to achieve new record figures with sales of € 2.26 billion (+5.9 %) and EBIT of € 371 million (+25.2 %). Expenditure related to intangible assets and property, plants and equipment more than doubled in 2017 to € 238.8 million (2016: € 107.2 million) in light of the capacity expansions.
Decisive for the good results were a better product mix and higher selling prices for fibers in combination with a generally favorable market environment. The Lenzing Group aims to increase the share of specialty fibers as a percentage of revenue to 50 % by 2020. Next to the capacity expansion in Heiligenkreuz/Austria, to be completed in the 2nd quarter of 2018, and the new plant in Mobile, AL/USA, with a start-up in 2019, Lenzing plans to construct a state-of-the-art plant to produce Lenzing lyocell fibers in Thailand.
Developments on the fiber markets should also be positive in 2018, but with continuing volatility. Cotton prices are expected to remain at the current level and inventory levels should be constant despite the increase in production. Polyester fiber prices increased in recent quarters following years of historic lows. The wood-based cellulose fiber segment should see further strong demand. Significant additional volumes in the viscose sector are expected in the market in 2018. Lenzing is well positioned with its focus on specialty fibers.