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Lenzing Earnings Jump 20% in 2015

Thanks to higher fiber selling prices, a growing share of specialty fibers in its product mix and positive exchange rate effects, The Lenzing Group saw revenue rise 6 percent to 1.98 billion euro ($2.22 billion) in 2015.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) jumped 20.7% to 290.1 million euro ($324.7 million), up from 240.3 million euro ($269 million) the prior year.

“We made substantial progress in 2015 and delivered the promised improvements to our business operations,” Lenzing AG CEO Stefan Doboczky said. “We strategically realigned the company, improved the earnings and cost structure and enhanced our financial strength. We also expect a considerable rise in earnings once again in 2016 provided that the underlying business framework does not significantly change.”

Demand for the Austria-based company’s botanic cellulose fibers was strong across all regions and product groups in 2015 and as a result, Lenzing’s pulp and fiber production capacities were well used, yielding high output.

Sales of the company’s specialty TENCEL, increased significantly last year.

Lenzing has plans to increase the share of total revenue generated by specialty fibers to 50 percent by 2020 and so far for 2015, specialty fibers accounted for 40.5% of revenue, up from 35 percent the previous year.

The global fiber market is still expected to be somewhat volatile this year and inter-fiber competition will still be at play, but Lenzing said the wood-based cellulose fiber market will develop more positively than the overall fiber market.

Provided cellulose fiber demand stays strong, Lenzing expects to report even greater improvements this year than last.