“We can define the results related to business development as good,” Luigi Lazzareschi, Sofidel Group Chief Executive

Sofidel has said its 2021 financial results have “returned to pre-pandemic crisis levels” as it reported a consolidated turnover of over €2bn and net sales of €2,095m.

The company said that after the “extraordinary” year of 2020, where peaks in demand linked to consumer purchases during lockdown periods, Sofidel said it has now “resumed its path of steady growth”.

It noted the consolidation of its sales in Europe in the second half of the year, as well as the “significant strengthening” of its business in the United States following a series of production capacity investments in the country.

However, the company also said that the “strong impact” of rising raw material prices and the impossibility of reversing the impact on product sales prices had meant that its “margins and economic results were partly affected”.

Luigi Lazzareschi, Sofidel Group Chief Executive, said: “In a very difficult economic environment in which the impressive rise in commodity prices has affected economic performance, we can define the results related to business development as good. “Sofidel sees its sales strengthened, as well as, thanks to the continuation of its sustainability strategies, its competitive conditions.”

The first half of the year was “particularly affected” by the price of pulp, while in the second half the very sharp increase in energy prices – which it said was more apparent in Europe than in the United States – weighed on the cost structure.

Elsewhere in 2021, Sofidel also announced its commitment to the purchase and self-production of electricity from renewable sources produced by newly built plants through long-term supply agreements.

In Italy it has partnered with RWE Renewables for the supply of wind energy, and in Sweden at its Kisa plant it has signed with Meva Energy to construct a renewable gas production plant where syngas produced from woody biomass from the local supply chain will produce tissue products.

At its Baglan plant in Wales, UK, it has also invested in an energy efficiency investment that the business said will lead “to significant reductions in climate-altering emissions”.