WEINHEIM, Germany (May 21, 2009)—Freudenberg & Co. K.G. a producer of seals and vibration control components, has recorded 2008 sales of $7 billion, a 5.5 percent drop from the previous year.
Despite business being good in the first three quarters of 2008, there was a marked drop in incoming orders in the fourth quarter, Freudenberg said. Profit from operations fell by 26 percent to $396 million, mainly because of restructuring costs, the company said.
The decline in sales, Freudenberg said, was largely caused by the disposal of the floor coverings and brake hose business, and the negative exchange rate from sales generated by subsidiaries in the U.S. and United Kingdom.
Peter Bettermann of the Freudenberg Management Board said the company took precautionary steps to increase its liquidity and adjust capacity. Freudenberg has closed four production plants in the U.S. and one in Spain in the last 12 months, and has 1,592 fewer employees than the same period in 2007.
Freudenberg is continuing to invest in new technologies, including sealing products for wind turbine manufacturers and stretchable electronics for the automotive and medical industry.
The company also said it expects the Chinese, Indian and Brazilian markets will develop “significantly better” than the U.S. and European markets.