Cartersville, Ga.—Yarn producer Aquafil reported 2018 revenues were up 5.1% ($625.47 million) in 2018, compared to 595.16 million in 2017. Revenue in the fourth quarter declined slightly, by 0.6%, totaling $140.03 million compared to $140.93 million in the same period of 2017.

The results are almost entirely attributable, both on a yearly and quarterly basis, to the BCF (fiber for carpet flooring) line’s higher revenues in Asia and the United States, partially penalized by the slowdown of the European market in H2 2018. The minor reduction in revenues during Q4 is mostly attributable to the lower sales levels of the later due to planned in-house use of such polymers for fiber production for the U.S. market.

“Our ECONYL brand products are increasingly appreciated by the market, especially in the U.S. – and the number of agreements to utilize the brand on finished products has more than doubled in 2018, reaching over seven hundred partners,” said Giulio Bonazzi, chairman and CEO, Aquafil.

EBITDA grew by 5.6% compared to the previous year and by 3.6% in forth quarter 2018, rising from $83.14 million to $87.76 million on an annual basis, and from $18.5 million in forth quarter 2017 to $19.15 million in forth quarter.

The EBITDA increase was mainly attributable to higher global sales generated throughout the reporting period. It is worth noting, incremental sales in North America were impacted by significantly lower margins due to higher shipping and customs costs (8.4%) as they were supported by European manufacturing facilities. The said costs are expected to be recovered thanks to investments registered during 2018, aimed at stepping up production capacity and to be completed in H2 2019.

“We continue to show strong growth and expansion in the U.S. market,” said Franco Rossi, Aquafil U.S. president and chairman. “We opened the first American Aquafil Carpet Recycling facility in Phoenix, Arizona, in October 2018 and we have our second U.S. facility underway in Northern California, which is scheduled to open in 2019. There continues to be growing demand for our carpet flooring materials in the U.S. in the automotive industry. This demand has enabled us to grow North American sales from €90.5 million ($101.95 million) in 2017 to €103.7 million ($116.82 million) in 2018 – a 14.6% increase.”

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