WEINHEIM, Germany (June 2)—Freudenberg Group reported 83.8-percent better earnings last year on 14.3-percent higher sales, based in part on the consolidation of acquisitions.
Sales have continued to rise in the first quarter of 2005, but profits fell because of sharp rising raw materials costs, causing Peter Betterman, speaker of the management board, to issue a "cautiously optimistic" forecast for the fiscal year.
Freudenberg's earnings hit $212.4 million as sales rose to $5.49 billion, for an earnings/sales ratio of 3.9 percent, an improvement of 1.5 percentage points.
Acquisitions during 2004 included mechanical seal maker Burgmann Dichtungswerke GmbH & Co. K.G., full control of Vibracoustic and Freudenberg Politex (both previously joint ventures) and release agents producer Chem-Trend Inc. The Burgmann and Vibracoustic purchases strengthened the Seals and Vibration Control Technology Business Area "substantially," Freudenberg said.