BAAR, Switzerland—Forbo Group, a Swiss-based maker of floor coverings, adhesives, power transmission products and conveyor belting, has reported a 6.5 percent year-on-year rise in first half net sales to $613.9 million.
Operating profit grew 12.5 percent to $86 million, lifting margins to 14 percent from the prior year, the Baar-based group announced Aug. 16.
Both divisions—Flooring Systems and Movement Systems—contributed to the gains, each growing sales by around 6.5 percent
Sales in local currencies in North, Central and South America grew 7.8 percent, while the Asia-Pacific and Africa region reported comparable growth of 7.4 percent. European sales were up 2.8 percent.
Forbo, meanwhile, linked its improved profitability to “optimization measures along the value chain and additional productivity gains in both divisions.”
Flooring Systems' higher sales of $424.9 million partly reflected a “firming of core markets in France and the U.S. and by the incipient recovery in the Netherlands,” the group said. This included a recovery in demand for building and construction adhesives
Movement Systems sales stood at $189.1 million with most European markets performing better than the global average. Sales growth in the U.S. weakened slightly, while demand in China, the division's largest market in Asia-Pacific, slowed down somewhat compared with previous years.
For the full year of 2016, Forbo said that despite “the encouraging first half, the overall environment remains challenging because the currency exchange situation and the trends on individual markets are still volatile.
“Barring any change in the foreign exchange situation, Forbo anticipates a slight increase in sales and group profit from continuing operations for the full year 2016,” a statement read.