LE HAVRE, FRANCE — Groupe Sidel enjoyed a strong sales gain in 2000, but its profit margin slipped nearly 2 percentage points after North American business fell as a share of total company sales.
The French maker of PET blow molding machines, filling equipment and other packaging machines announced preliminary 2000 financial results Jan. 5.
Sidel reported its total sales grew to 1 million euros ($949 million), a 16.8 percent increase from 1999 sales of 878.2 euros ($937 million). But the company believes its operating profit margin slipped to 11 percent, from 12.8 percent in 1999.
Sidel attributed the decline in profitability to the North American business, which accounted for just 23 percent of Groupe Sidel's 2000 sales, vs. 42 percent in 1999.
Sidel said other factors affecting profit included higher-than-expected installation and warranty costs for its Combi system.
Michel Picandet, vice president of sales at Sidel's North American headquarters in Norcross, Ga., could not be reached for comment on the financial report. In a story published Dec. 4, he told Plastics News that Sidel delivered 130 machines to North America in 1999, but added that the key soft drink market continued to slow.
Looking ahead, Le Havre-based Sidel expects that complete production lines will account for more of the business of the blow molding and filling division — about 25 percent this year, compared with 15 percent in 2000. Sidel also will continue to reduce the cost of its SBO blow molding machines.
Sidel also announced that Japan's Hokkai Can has produced 5 million bottles on an Actis machine. The machine began running in September. Actis technology adds a carbon barrier coating on the inside of a PET bottle.