Recticel Group has reported higher sales for 2016, and remains optimistic for this year despite the fire that broke out at its Most, Czech Republic plant in January.
The fire forced Brussels-based Recticel to halt the production of components for car makers, such as PSA Group, Volkswagen, Daimler and Renault. The delivery issues forced PSA Group to slow production of its Peugeot 3008.
The company managed to raise annual sales to more than 1 billion euros ($1.05 billion), up 1.4 percent compared with a year earlier, and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was up 37.5 percent to 72.7 million euros ($76.7 million).
At the press conference that accompanied the release of Recticel's annual results, CEO Olivier Chapelle said Recticel is “satisfied with 2016, another year of sales and profit growth.”
He added that the fire in Most had a one-off financial impact of 4 million euros ($4.2 million) on the manufacturer, after accounting for insurance, according to estimates by Recticel.
The Most plant is the sole manufacturer of a patented polyurethane skin for auto interiors made by Recticel. The firm declared force majeure on Jan. 22. On Jan. 27, Recticel's engineers and contractors were allowed back inside the factory.
Local business daily De Tijd reported that deliveries from Recticel's Czech factory and other production facilities have been resumed, but that “the situation still has not been normalized”
The plant in Most generated revenues of about 20.3 million euros ($21.4 million) last year, and it is operated by a workforce of some 390 employees. Recticel operates a second Czech plant in Mlada Boleslav, in the country's north-west. Both factories are located close to the German border.