Fiber shipment volumes reached a level of about 216,000 tons, about the same level as in the fourth quarter of 2012 and approximately 13% higher than in the prior year quarter. This increase can be attributed to the additional production capacities coming on stream in 2012 at the Indonesia plant (SPV) as well as the USA/Mobile site. A fire took place at the TENCEL® fiber production site in Heiligenkreuz in March of 2013, which will likely result in a loss of production amounting to some 5,000 tons in 2013 as a whole.
Segment sales in the first quarter of 2013 totaled EUR 447.1 mn, down from EUR 474.4 mn in the prior-year quarter. Segment EBITDA was EUR 58.9 mn (1-3 2012: EUR 87.2 mn), and segment EBIT mounted to EUR 31.3 mn (1-3 2012: EUR 62.5 mn).
Specialty fibers comprised about 34.5% of segment sales.
The business development of the Business Unit Textile Fibers was characterized by intensified price ompetition on the marketplace. Lenzing was not immune to this trend, which led to a further decline in selling prices for
standard viscose fibers compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. Due to the high price differential to viscose, prices for TENCEL® used in textile applications also had to be significantly adjusted downwards.
Demand for Lenzing Modal® continued to develop positively, although Modal selling prices fell to a significantly lower level than in the first quarter of 2012. On balance, there was still a significant price premium of Modal vis-à-vis viscose and cotton.
The development of the Business Unit Nonwoven Fibers was shaped by ongoing good volume demand in the first quarter of 2013. Slight price decreases also had to be implemented on the nonwovens market in line with the general fiber price level. However, on balance selling prices showed a stable development. Compared to previous quarterly periods, the price and volume development of the specialty fiber TENCEL® for nonwovens remained constant for the most part.
With respect to nonwoven applications, the wipes segment developed satisfactorily. Business in the hygiene segment, where Lenzing is continually expanding the range of applications for its fibers, proceeded gratifyingly. New applications developed in the technical segment generated considerable interest on the marketplace.