PGI Announces Long-Term Investment Strategy for High-Growth Developing Regions

New Investments in Central Brazil and Southern China to Capture Market Growth and Solidify Leadership Position

Mar 31, 2011, 16:31 ET from Polymer Group, Inc.

CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Polymer Group, Inc. (PGI) today announced long-term strategic growth plans to invest in new state-of-the-art spunmelt manufacturing operations in South America and China to solidify the company's leadership position in these high-growth markets.

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The plans and timeframe include:

  • PGI will make an immediate follow-up installation of a state-of-the art, custom-designed spunmelt machine and a pilot line at its current facility in Suzhou, China, that is expected to result in commercially available material in mid-2012.
  • PGI will have a greenfield installation in Southern China by late 2012 with multi-line expansion capability.
  • The company also will have a greenfield installation in Central Brazil by early 2013. Site selection for this facility is currently underway.
  • Longer-term investment plans include a third spunmelt line at its plant in Cali, Colombia, where PGI holds a leadership position serving the Andean Pact Market.

PGI's new capacity will employ industry-leading equipment and technologies, combined with proprietary technological developments, to deliver differentiated materials to customers for use in applications such as baby diapers, adult incontinence, and medical gowns and drapes.

"PGI has a proven competency expanding in the developing markets, as demonstrated by its successful establishment of new manufacturing facilities in Suzhou, China, and Cali, Colombia, in recent years.  We are excited about the prospect of building our presence in the Brazilian market and Southern China to position ourselves to capitalize on local opportunities in these regions," said Veronica "Ronee" Hagen, chief executive officer of PGI.

"This expansion in product capability and capacity is part of PGI's ongoing strategy to provide superior solutions to the marketplace and meet our customers' needs for higher-performing products that offer an optimum combination of barrier and comfort with improved performance attributes," she said.

Michael Hale, PGI's chief operating officer, said, "Our latest investment plans demonstrate our ongoing commitment to growing our leadership positions in core segments and partnering closely with our key customers to create differentiated product offerings that deliver value and give them a competitive edge in the marketplace."

Polymer Group, Inc. is a global, technology-driven developer, producer and marketer of engineered materials, and one of the world's leading producers of nonwovens.  With the broadest range of process technologies in the nonwovens industry, PGI is a global supplier to leading consumer and industrial product manufacturers. The company operates 14 manufacturing and converting facilities in nine countries throughout the world.

Safe Harbor Statement

Except for historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release are forward-looking statements that involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. These forwardlooking statements speak only as of the date of this release.  Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in such forwardlooking statements include: general economic factors including, but not limited to, changes in interest rates, foreign currency translation rates, consumer confidence, trends in disposable income, changes in consumer demand for goods produced, and cyclical or other downturns; cost and availability of raw materials, labor and natural and other resources and the inability to pass raw material cost increases along to customers; changes to selling prices to customers which are based, by contract, on an underlying raw material index; substantial debt levels and potential inability to maintain sufficient liquidity to finance our operations and make necessary capital expenditures; inability to comply with existing and future debt covenants; achievement of objectives for strategic acquisitions and dispositions; inability to achieve successful or timely start-up of new or modified production lines; reliance on major customers and suppliers; domestic and foreign competition; information and technological advances; risks related to operations in foreign jurisdictions; and changes in environmental laws and regulations, including climate change-related legislation and regulation. Investors are directed to consider the risks and uncertainties discussed in documents provided by Polymer Group, Inc. to investors, including the company's Annual Report and any subsequent Quarterly Reports.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Cliff Bridges
Global Communications, Senior Director
(704) 697-5168

For investor inquiries, please contact:
Dennis Norman
Chief Financial Officer
(704) 697-5186

Polymer Group, Inc.
9335 Harris Corners Parkway

Suite 300
Charlotte, NC 28269

SOURCE Polymer Group, Inc.