Against this bacjdrop, it comes as no surprise that APPE has announced the construction of a new plant in Katowice / Poland. The EUR 15m facility, which will turn out the entire APPE portfolio, including preforms and bottles, is due to be completed by the end of 2012 and will predominantly cater to the north and east European markets with a special focus on Russia and Ukraine. APPE is also planning to build a new facility in Italy – an important European PET market where it does not yet have a production unit. The former Schmalbach-Lubeca business currently operates production plants in the UK, Germany, France, Belgium, Morocco, Turkey and Greece. In the future, APPE plans to focus increasingly on delivering innovative solutions and “through the wall” services.
LSB’s new strategy calls for a full integration into the PET chain, starting with the feedstocks PTA (produced in Portugal) and MEG (Spain), to PET production (Spain, Italy, Turkey, Greece) and processing (APPE), all the way to recycling (APPE Spain and Italy) and technology licensing activities. With this model in mind, LSB already is in the midst of discussions to build a new PET plant in Sines / Portugal, at the same site where its Artlant subsidiary commissioned a 700,000 t/y PTA production plant in mid-2011 – see Plasteurope.com of 29.07.2011. Group chairman Carlos Moreira da Silva expressed confidence that the latest capital increase will present the necessary conditions to build a 400,000 t/y PET facility here.
LSB grew group sales by 17.6% year-on-year in 2011 to EUR 1.17 bn, while Ebitda dropped slightly, to EUR 58m, amid a somewhat weaker H2. LSB points out that all its business units are making a profit, adding that since its last capital increase in early 2010 – which in effect saved the group (see Plasteurope.com of 23.12.2009) – it has reduced group debt by EUR 193m while simultaneously investing EUR 27m. By year’s end, La Seda’s net debt stood at EUR 50m – some 42% lower than in 2010.