Despite a generally difficult demand environment for textile fibers and a drastic drop in prices for standard viscose, the producer of cellulosic fibers Lenzing AG, Lenzing/Austria, recorded a solid business development in 2019.
Sales fell slightly by 3.3% to €2.10 billion, and EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) fell by 31.7% to €162.3 million year-on-year. Expenditures for research and development (R&D) amounted to €53.2 million in the 2019 financial year (2018: €42.8 million).
In order to meet the high demand for specialty fibers, an investment of more than €1 billion in new production facilities will be made in the coming years. The first expansion phase of this growth plan was approved in H1/2019: the construction of a state-of-the-art lyocell plant in Prachinburi/Thailand, which is the largest of its kind with a capacity of 100,000 tons. Production is expected to start in the H2/2021. The investment volume totals roughly €400 million.
The start-up of the dissolving wood pulp plant being built in Brazil is scheduled for H1/2022. With a capacity of 500,000 tons, the single-line plant will further enhance Lenzing’s independence of raw material markets.
In 2019, the company became the world’s first fiber producer to make a strategic commitment to climate-neutral production. Lenzing aims to implement this vision by 2050. The intermediate goal for 2030 is to reduce emissions by 50% per ton of product compared to 2017.