For the first four months of the year, Coats’ sales rose two per cent on both a currency-neutral/organic basis. The fashion sector was key to business in the period as the rise was driven by its strength in its apparel and footwear unit as well as in performance materials. The two per cent growth in apparel and footwear unit came as underlying retail markets remained mixed but overall supportive. It saw a robust performance in the core thread business, which grew three percent as it continued to deliver high service levels to customers. Geographically, key Asian markets performed best, with some offset in Latin America.
The four per cent growth in performance materials was driven by double-digit rises in hi-tech end uses (for example, wire and cables, including Gotex), with some ongoing offset from traditional end use segments in North America, as well as the phasing of certain customer programs.
Thread leader Coats entered 2019 in a strong position, with continued positive momentum in its core apparel and footwear and hi-tech performance materials businesses. While the company remains cautious around the current macroeconomic uncertainties, based on its current assessment of business trends it anticipates delivering 2019 full-year performance.