recticelBrandedRecticel said its Geltex Inside product line together with foam sales to British customers were bright spots as it narrowed FY 2014 losses.

The diversified industrial giant — headquartered in Belgium but with operations far and wide — said full year Flexible Foam sales increased 1.6 per cent to €593m while Bedding sales dipped 0.5 per cent to €281.6m.

Within Foams, its Comfort division — serving the furniture sector — declined 1.4 per cent to €367.3m, but Recticel added that the UK together with Eastern Europe had been positive. The overall uplift in foams was provided by sales to the automotive sector.

Bedding was polarised across branded and non-branded merchandise, with the former rising 5.1 per cent over the year thanks to its Geltex Inside product line, which was up 55 per cent against 2013. Non-branded private label bedding declined by 6 per cent year-on-year.

The wider Recticel group includes dedicated Automotive and Insulation divisions. Consolidated* net sales increased 0.7 per cent to €983.4m with pre-tax losses narrowing to €4m (2013: €32.2m).

Recticel said its performance had been complicated by operational issues, a surge in polyol prices towards the end of the year, and settlements agreed with the EC and the German Federal Cartel Office for alleged transgressions.

The group this week announced plans to raise up to €75m through a public rights issue.

* excludes Recticel’s pro-rata share in joint ventures