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PFAEFFIKON – Oerlikon will separate its Polymer Processing Solutions division, which is responsible for all of the company’s fibre filament and nonwovens processing technology and includes the well-known Barmag and Neumag brands, within the next three years.

The company, which has just reported an overall turnover of CHF 2,693 million for 2023, down 7.4% on the CHF 2,909 million achieved in 2022, has for some years been planning to become purely a surface solutions business.

Sales achieved by the Polymer Processing Solutions division fell by 23.1% in 2023, from CHF 1,525 million in 2022 to CHF 1,172 million. The division is also currently experiencing a slump in orders, which at the end of 2023 stood at CHF 942 million, down 40.1% compared to the CHF 1,572 million on the books at the end of 2022.

The filament fibres business has always, however, been extremely cyclical and the division’s results were largely impacted by a slowdown in consumption, production and investment in China, as well as weakness in the global nonwovens market.

In the last quarter of 2023, Oerlikon discontinued its joint venture with Italy’s Teknoweb, initiated in 2020 and aiming to deliver Procter & Gamble’s Phantom technology for hybrid airlaid and spunmelt nonwovens to the global market.

It also divested Oerlikon Barmag Automation, its intralogistics business for large spinning mills to Italy’s Irico Gualchierani Handling.

“The board and management will evaluate options for the separation of Polymer Processing Solutions with the aim of optimising value for all stakeholders,” said Oerlikon executive chairman Michael Suess.


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