Raunheim, Germany-based biaxially oriented polypropylene film specialist Treofan Holdings GmbH says the strategic realignment the company embarked on in 2015 is continuing to pay off. In 2016, adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) reached 38 million euros ($42.6 million), up from 32 million euros ($36 million) in 2015, representing a doubling of profits within two years.
At the company's annual press meeting in Frankfurt, CEO Walter Bickel said that the sales volume remained largely stable at 157 kilotons (2015: 155 kT), of which specialty films accounted for 72 percent, up 3 percentage points from 2015. The target for 2017, he said, is 75 percent.
One of the main growth drivers has been the company's transformation from a conventional film manufacturer into a provider of integrated premium solutions. Treofan aims to create a highly-differentiated product portfolio through the development of specialty products. To that end, it now employs 40 specialists in its globally active Tech Powerhouse innovation unit.
“Already this year, we're introducing three new types of film in Europe and three in the U.S., in addition to continuous product modifications worldwide. Our medium-term goal is a minimum of four new products per year,” said Bickel.
Increasingly, Treofan is seeking direct collaboration with multiple partners across the entire value chain. The company's new hybrid film HybraPack, a combination of paper and BOPP film jointly developed with paper manufacturer Feldmuehle Uetersen and other partners targeted at stand-up pouches, is a good example. The first commercial use of the concept was demonstrated at this year's Interpack trade fair.
Treofan also recently signed a deal with a Chinese battery manufacturer for TreoPore microporous separator film — used in lithium-ion batteries — with the option of turning this into a long-term supply partnership.
Process optimizations resulting in cost savings also contributed significantly to Treofan's continued profitable growth. The restructuring of its Italian organization into a pure manufacturing unit with two production sites and lean administration was a milestone, said Bickel, as is the organizational restructuring of the Neunkirche, Germany, site that began in 2016 and is due to be completed this year. Together with the company's NICO (“Next Improvement Challenge Operational”) global efficiency program, this will yield savings of around 22 million euros ($24.7 million) by 2020, on top of the 23 million euros ($25.7 million) already saved through cost reductions between 2013-2015.
In addition, Treofan has earmarked some 50 million euros ($56 million) for investment in plant technology to underpin its specialization strategy. The plans include a coater in Italy and a new production line in Mexico.