WEINHEIM, Germany (May 26) — Freudenberg Group is cautiously optimistic about improving its financial results this year after reporting 9.7-percent higher earnings and sales last year.
Freudenberg said based on performance during the first few months of 2006 it expects economic momentum in Europe to gain pace during the year, with continued strong growth in China and India and only a slight weakening in North America.
Freudenberg´s sales topped $6 billion for the first time while operating earnings grew 18.2 percent to $346.6 million and net profit hit $250.9 million despite the negative effects of rising raw material costs.
The company´s seals and vibration technology business area led the way, raising sales 14.8 percent over 2004. Within this business, Freudenberg NOK G.P. reported a 7-percent sales gain to $975.7 million
Freudenberg described fiscal 2005 as a year of consolidation and balance-sheet strengthening. As a result of improved working capital management, prudent housekeeping and strong cash flow from operating activities, net debt declined by 27 percent, Freudenberg said.