Freudenberg’s North American Sales Rise 6.8%

PLYMOUTH — The Plymouth-based North American operations of Germany’s Freudenberg Group says its sales rose 6.8 percent in 2014 in North America, to $2.2 billion.

That’s faster than the company’s overall sales growth rate of 6.3 percent to $9.3 billion worldwide.

Freudenberg supplies products and services to the automotive, aerospace, medical, oil and gas and construction industries. The company also produces many household and cleaning supplies. In addition, its IT business group provides software solutions and technology services to small and medium-size enterprises. Ten of Freudenberg’s 11 business groups are active in North America.

“With 23 percent of sales generated in North America, our region is the second largest market for Freudenberg after Europe,” said Bob Evans, Freudenberg North America president and regional representative. “It is especially noteworthy that we have seen increased sales in all areas of our business, reflecting the broad recovery of the North American economy. If we need to single out the business groups which have seen the highest year over year increase, we should mention Freudenberg Chemical Specialities, Freudenberg Performance Materials, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, Freudenberg IT and Helix Medical. Automotive remains the largest market for Freudenberg both in North America and worldwide.”

In 2014, the company made a combined investment in the United States, Canada and Mexico of about $105 million, consistent with annual investments in previous years. Included in this investment was the expansion of production capacity, new facilities or upgrades to existing sites as well as mergers and acquisitions.

“We will continue investments at this level in 2015,” Evans said.

In 2014, Freudenberg executed two acquisitions in North America: Tobul Accumulators, a Bamberg, S.C.-based maker of hydraulic energy storage equipment, was added to the Freudenberg Sealing Technologies Group. Also, MeadWestvaco’s industrial activated carbon corrosion protection business, based in Richmond, Va., became a part of the Freudenberg Filtration Technologies Business Group.

Collectively, Freudenberg operates 87 locations within the North American region and employs more than 8,300 people, including approximately 1,000 associates in Canada and Mexico. Employment increased nearly four percent in 2014.

Freudenberg opened its North America Regional Corporate Cetner in Plymouth in October 2013.

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