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Freudenberg Reports Third Year of Sales Growth in 2012

PLYMOUTH, Mich., April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Freudenberg, a global, family-owned group of companies, grew sales for the third year in a row. In 2012 sales amounted to EUR 6.322 billion (USD 8.2 billion), the highest in the Company's history, and 5.5 percent higher than 2011. Sales in North America grew by almost 19 percent to EUR 1.4 billion (USD 1.8 billion).

"Freudenberg successfully held its ground in a particularly challenging market environment and achieved strong and profitable growth in many areas. Our broadly diversified product portfolio and our global presence are the foundation for our success," Dr. Mohsen Sohi , Speaker of the Board of Management of the Freudenberg Group, said in the annual press conference in Weinheim, Germany. "Freudenberg was able to grow sales further thanks to innovative products, a high degree of customer orientation and flexibility as well as structured and sustainable expansion in growth markets."

Although the financial and debt crises impacted business in markets in Southern Europe, the decline was offset by growth in the BRIC countries and in North America.

"Across the board, all Freudenberg companies in North America had a good year, reporting better profits in 2012 than in previous years. Overall, operating results for the Region improved by 26 percent. That is extremely important because North America, Freudenberg's second largest market, currently generates 21 percent of total Freudenberg sales," said Leesa Smith , Freudenberg North America president and regional representative. "Increased automotive sales played an important role in achieving improved 2012 results."

Employment rose to 7,739 in North America compared to 6,983 the previous year, reflecting increased sales as well as new investments and acquisitions made in the Region in 2012. During the year, Helix Medical, Freudenberg's medical technology business, acquired MedVenture Technology Corporation, a leading designer and manufacturer of medical technology solutions for minimally invasive surgical devices with facilities in Jeffersonville, Indiana and Minnetonka, Minnesota and opened a new production facility in San Jose, Costa Rica. Freudenberg Oil & Gas, global provider of innovative seal solutions and differentiated seal products to the upstream oil and gas industry, opened a 14,000-square-foot materials and products testing facility in Houston and acquired Scott-Matrix Ltd., a Newcastle, UK based manufacturer of elastomeric sealing solutions for the oil and gas industry and a Norwegian supplier of high integrity sealing solutions for oil and gas industry, Vector Technologies. Freudenberg IT (FIT), a global leader of mission-critical managed hosting services opened its newest data center and office in Durham, NC. Freudenberg's industrial sealing technology business, EagleBurgmann, acquired SealPots Inc. of Romeo, Michigan, a manufacturer of supply systems for the oil and gas industry. In total, Freudenberg's investments totaled around EUR 100 million (~USD 130 million) in 2012.

Talking about prospects for 2013, Dr. Sohi stated, "We anticipate strong growth in China, an increase in sales in India and Brazil, and continued stable growth in the USA."

With 27 percent of its current products being less than four years old, Freudenberg continues to focus on innovation, making technology leadership one of the major factors of the Company's stable growth.

About the Freudenberg Group: The Freudenberg Group is a family company offering its customers technically challenging product solutions and services. The Group is first and foremost a supplier specializing in seals and vibration control technology, nonwovens, filtration, lubricants, and release agents as well as mechatronic products. The end-user can find modern Freudenberg household products in the shops under the brand names of vileda®, O-Cedar® and Wettex®. For mid-size companies, in particular, Freudenberg develops software solutions and IT services. In 2012, the Freudenberg Group employed almost 37,500 people in 57 countries and generated sales of over 8.2 billion USD.

About Freudenberg in North America: Freudenberg North America Limited Partnership is the North American holding company for Freudenberg & Co. of Weinheim, Germany that owns a family of companies which operate 15 unique businesses at 58 locations in North America. Together, these companies provide innovative products and solutions to customers in industries ranging from automotive, aerospace, and medical to chemical, oil and gas, and construction.

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SOURCE Freudenberg Group
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