The global spread of corona virus has impacted the world economy, businesses and daily lives in an unprecedented manner.
In the 1st quarter of 2020, sales of the Manmade Fibers Segment of the technology group Oerlikon Management AG, Pfäffikon/Switzerland, decreased by 19.3% to CHF 205 million, attributed to the lockdown in China and to lower demand for equipment and systems for special filament (carpet and industrial yarn) and plant engineering (polymerization, staple fibers and nonwovens), particularly in North America, Europe and Asia. EBIT for Q1/2020 was CHF 11 million (Q1/2019: CHF 27 million).
The segment received new large contracts for filament spinning systems from 3 of the world’s leading manmade fibers manufacturers in China. The 3 projects have a total value of more than CHF 600 million. A very small proportion of these projects will be recognized in order intake in 2020, and the majority will be accounted for in 2021 and 2022. Despite the new contracts, the segment noted a decline of 51.4% to CHF 144 million in order intake, partly due to the delay in financial clearance in China as a result of the shutdowns.
In Q1/2020, the segment took over the majority stake in Teknoweb Materials s.r.l., Palazzo Pignano/Italy, which was established in 2017 as a joint venture to extend the nonwovens production system portfolio to include the attractive market for disposable nonwovens. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a strong global demand for Oerlikon’s meltblown (nonwovens) technology used to produce surgical face masks has been noted. This demand is expected to grow in the upcoming quarters, driven by government regulations and the need for greater self-sufficiency and reduced reliance on imports for critical medical items. To support this growth, production capacity for the meltblown technology has been ramped up and the delivery times of these systems significantly reduced.