The Lenzing Group more than doubled its earnings in the first half (H1) of 2021. Growing optimism in the textile and apparel industry and the ongoing recovery in retail caused a strong increase in demand and prices on the global fiber market, especially at the beginning of the current financial year.
Lenzing AG, Lenzing/Austria, increased sales by 27.5% to € 1.03 billion compared to the same period last year. This increase is primarily attributable to higher viscose prices thanks to significantly higher demand for fibers, especially in Asia. The focus on wood-based specialty fibers such as Tencel, Lenzing Ecovero and Veocel branded fibers also had a positive impact on the revenue development. The share of specialty fibers in fiber revenue rose to 72.8 %; by 2021, this share is expected to exceed 75%. The negative impact of more unfavorable currency effects was consequently more than offset.
In addition, the measures to improve efficiency are also taking effect. In H1/2021 the preliminary EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) more than doubled year-on-year to € 217.8 million (H1/2020: € 95.6 million). The EBITDA margin rose from 11.8 % to 21.1 %.
The focus of the strategic target to expand the share of specialty fibers is the construction of the new state-of-the-art lyocell plant in Thailand. The investment for the new plant with a capacity of 100,000 tons/year amounts to roughly € 400 million. Production is scheduled to start at the end of 2021. In addition, Lenzing is investing more than € 200 million in its production sites in Purwakarta/Indonesia and Nanjing/China to convert existing standard viscose capacity into capacity for environmentally responsible specialty fibers.