4th quarter 2000
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Profile of British Vita
published in Issue 43, 4th quarter 2000
The UK-based British Vita group controls a large number of subsidiary companies engaged in the manufacture and processing of nonwovens and other textile products, as well as cellular polymers and industrial polymers.
The textile sector activities of the group, which have undergone some re-engineering over the past two years, are conducted by five principal subsidiary companies: Libeltex; Rossendale Combining Company; Vitafibres; H E Mowbray & Company; and Moulinages du Plouy. Moulinages du Plouy was acquired in 1997, and another French concern, nonwovens producer Texidel, was acquired in early 2000. Several non-core textiles sector businesses were divested or closed between early 1999 and early 2001.
In 1999 the nonwovens business of British Vita achieved sales of £122.3 mn (US$198 mn) and operating profits of £9.4 mn. Also, the operating margin of the nonwovens business improved from 6.4% in 1998 to 7.7% in 1999 - partly as a result of the shedding of unwanted business units. In the first half of 2000, however, the operating margin of the nonwovens business fell to 6.5%. Also, the nonwovens business continued to perform less well than the group as a whole, where an operating margin of 7.5% was achieved.