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Picanol Says Sales Higher Recently

PICANOL SAYS SALES HIGHER RECENTLYBelgian loom-builder Picanol has reported better sales and profits for the first six months of 2001. The firm, based at Ypres, makes both air-jet and flexible rapier weaving equipment.Its sales for the January-June period this year totaled 7.3 billion Belgian Francs (U.S. $1 = 44.5 BEF), compared to 5.8 billion BEF in the corresponding months of 2000. Pre-tax profits rose from 194 to 268 million BEF over the same period.A spokesman said the better performance was linked with the successful launch last year of the new Omniplus air-jet weaving machine. The company had also fine-tuned its business activities, and was setting up a new structure called the "Global Textile Partner" (GTP) concept, aimed at offering total solutions in what it termed "a stagnating machine market." This will include focus on new installations, upgrades and used machines, spares and accessories, consulting, raw materials, and asset management.Said the spokesman: "All these new activities should help flatten out the cyclical nature of the loom market. They mainly include the expansion of various innovative services situated closer to the client, and total solutions for the textile industry."Order books were full for the rest of this year, providing the basis for long-term profitability, he added.October 2001