HOECHST AG TO SPIN OFF FIBERS?: Hoechst AG, Europe’s largest polyester producer, said it is considering spinning off its fibers division.
The German company said the profits outlook at its fibers division, which also makes acetate, remains “extremely unsatisfactory.”
In a statement responding to industry rumors in Europe, the company said, “Initial thought was given to the advantages of spinning off the fibers activities, especially since most of our competitors run their businesses as separate corporations.”
A company spokeswoman in London Friday said no decision has been made to restructure, and there was no timetable for such a decision.
A spokeswoman in New York for Hoechst Celanese Corp., Hoechst AG’s U.S. subsidiary, said, “We have seen the reports. We can’t speak for Hoechst AG, and we know little about this.”
IFFE NUMBERS: Buoyed by the addition of some heavy-hitters from the U.S. textile industry, the exhibitor roster for next month’s International Fashion Fabric Exhibition (IFFE) should hit about 320 — a 30 percent increase over last October’s show — according to the event’s sponsor, The Larkin Group.
The IFFE is slated for March 22-24 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. IFFE will be held in sections 1E and 1D of the center.
Among the first-time exhibitors are Cranston Print Works, Springs Industries, Horizon Textiles, Texfi and S. Shamash & Sons.
At the exhibition last October, Wellman Inc. and Cone Mills were among those that decided to join the IFFE ranks.
The initial IFFE, held in March 1992, featured about 80 firms, and drew about 3,000, The Larkin Group said.
S.C. WOOL: The International Wool Secretariat said it is opening a 6,400-square-foot technical center at Rock Hill, S.C., for testing and quality control operations.
The facility, slated to open in August, will be primarily involved in checking and testing quality of wool fabrics to determine eligibility for Woolmark and Woolblend certifications. Currently, those efforts are being done at a Woodbury, N.Y., facility, which will be closed.
The center will have a staff of about nine. In addition, two specialists from Australia — the leading wool producing country — will help in the early stages of operation.
Danny Neff, IWS director, Americas, said the move places the facility in a strategic location for textiles and wool. According to IWS figures, 52 percent of all imported wool enters through Charleston, S.C., and about half of all domestic wool is scoured in South Carolina.
FAB NUMBERS: Fab Industries Inc. reported earnings rose 19.3 percent in the fourth quarter and 5.3 percent in the year ended Nov. 27.
The fabric producer earned $4.7 million, or 76 cents a share, in the quarter, up from $3.96 million, or 63 cents, a year earlier. Sales moved ahead 8.9 percent to $46.6 million from $42.8 million
Full-year profits advanced to $17 million, or $2.75, from $16.9 million, or $2.65. Sales nudged up 0.2 percent to $189.6 million from $189.3 million.
Fab makes knitted textile fabrics and laces for the apparel market, as well as textiles for the home furnishings industry.