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Demand for foam fillings used in the production of mattresses and sofas has softened in the year to date, according to industrial giant Recticel.


The multinational Belgian group—which generated over £120m in UK sales across its diversified product divisions last year—said comfort foam sales are down 0.6 per cent to €271.6m in the nine months to September.


Its overall Flexible Foams division—boosted by the growth in Technical Foam sales—grew 0.6 per cent in Q3 and 1.5 per cent to €450.9m in the year to date, further aided by currency movements.


Recticel’s comfort foams are supplied to a number of UK and mainland European furniture and beds manufacturers, with the group’s size making it a decent barometer of manufacturing health in upholstery and beds.


The group also has its own bedding operation, which is strongly outperforming sales of comfort foams to third party customers.


Recticel said its Bedding division delivered 8.4 per cent growth in the third quarter to bring the year to date figure to +6.7 per cent to €216.6m. It said its Branded sub-segment—supported by the strong performance of its Geltex Inside product line—was up 9.7 per cent, with non-branded and private label sales up 6.3 per cent.