Weaker volumes in its comfort foams business failed to prevent Recticel achieving top and bottom line growth in the first half as it managed to mitigate some of its own input cost pressures.


Net income advanced 31 percent to €18.7 million for the Belgian foam giant — one of the big three suppliers to the furniture and bedding industries — as consolidated sales advanced 2.4 percent to €579.7 million in the six months to end June.

Profit growth was highest in the diversified group's insulation division while it offset the impact of falling volumes of sales to the furniture and bedding markets with higher prices.

Without providing a figure, the company said comfort foam sales were up 2.5 percent, and that it had "passed through the significantly higher chemical raw material costs, offsetting slightly lower volumes due to an overall softer market."

Together with its technical foams business, comfort foams form part of Recticel's Flexible Foam division, for which total sales advanced 4.1 percent to €330.6 million in the six months to end June.

Recticel also has a Bedding division, producing finished bedding products such as foam mattresses. It blamed weak conditions — largely in Germany — for a 9.9 percent fall in half-year sales to €124.6 million for that segment.