Pfleiderer, an international producer of engineered wood, said it has successfully completed restructuring of its business activities in Western Europe. The company also improved earnings and profitability significantly in 2011.

Revenues for the Business Center Western Europe (BC West) reached a better-than-projected EUR689 million, nearly equaling the previous year's level of EUR692 million despite the closure of three production sites in Germany as part of a restructuring plan. Pfleiderer Holzwerkstoffe GmbH is BC West's parent company. These revenues no longer include laminate flooring producer Pergo's European business activities, which are up for sale (prior-year value adjusted).

Operating earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) adjusted for restructuring costs improved last year (without PERGO Europe) by approximately 33% or EUR18.6 million to EUR74.2 million (2010: EUR55.6 million), according to preliminary figures. This corresponds to a margin of 10.7% of revenue, following 8.0% the previous year.

Accounting for the costs of restructuring, EBITDA increased by approximately 187% or EUR41.4 million to EUR63.5 million (2010: EUR22.1 million). This corresponds to an EBITDA margin of 9.2% of revenue (2010: 3.2%). The marked increase in earnings and returns can be attributed a larger amount of higher-quality products, price increases for raw particleboard and surface-finished panels, as well as improved efficiency throughout the Group. All five production sites in Germany (Neumarkt/Oberpfalz, Gütersloh, Arnsberg, Leutkirch and Baruth) developed positively in 2011.

Following completed restructuring, the Pfleiderer Holzwerkstoffe Group plans significant investments in its German locations in order to secure and improve their ability to compete. Including last year's investments, planned expenditures from 2011 until 2013 total more than EUR110 million. Of this total, more than EUR40 million is earmarked for the current year. The investments are to be financed internally from the Group's cash flow.

Pfleiderer has gotten off to a good start in Western Europe in 2012. Thanks to internal progress and stable building activity, BC West's revenues and (more importantly) earnings have continued to improve. Revenues (without Pergo Europe) in January and February were up 2% on a cumulative basis compared to the same period in the previous year. EBITDA increased by a further 37%, from EUR9.3 million to EUR12.7 million, for a margin of 11% (previous year: 8.1 %).