TenCate Grass: cautious optimism
There is growing acceptance of synthetic turf in both landscaping and sport. What’s more, the demand for replacement is also increasing. The higher degree of utilization, innovations and the cost savings achieved within the Grass group are expected to make a positive contribution to further profit recovery.
Cautious optimism has been reported in various synthetic turf markets worldwide. Although the economic chill has not vanished entirely, there are indications of a slightly rising trend. In addition demand for replacement is increasing. This leads to improvement in the general volume, and so the degree of utilization of the TenCate production machinery is rising. There is growing acceptance of synthetic turf as an alternative to natural grass in landscaping and sport – with football as the most important growth market. The Grass group is expecting the cautiously positive developments to continue in 2014. The presence of TenCate throughout the entire world market is an advantage. It is true that sports systems are geared to local needs, but global directives ensure that the characteristics of football and hockey fields are more or less the same.
Synthetic turf has been the standard in hockey for years. Here the Dutch women’s hockey team is in action against Argentina (Champions Trophy 2011) (Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)
The policy of the Grass group remains focused on efficient production, on further regional harmonization of marketing and sales activities of TenCate companies with those of customers, and on sustainable synthetic turf systems. The matrix weaving technology for the manufacture of fully recyclable synthetic turf systems means further sustainability of production. An even higher level of quality can be achieved by further development of this weaving technology. This neatly responds to the demands to recycle raw materials. To an increasing extent plastic production waste is being processed into granulate and transported back into the extrusion process.
Hockey World Cup 2014
Investments are being made in marketing and sales staff. This is happening partly with an eye to the Hockey World Cup 2014, partnerships with the Royal Dutch Hockey Federation and Coöperatie Eerste Divisie, and customer relationship management with organizations such as FIFA and UEFA. To be able to meet the demand for woven synthetic turf systems for sports fields in the coming years, TenCate wants to establish a new production site in the Twente region.
Consolidation within the synthetic turf industry is expected to take place. Producers are reconsidering their core activities and are seeking possible alignment with other suppliers. The strong position of TenCate in synthetic turf components and systems – which have proved themselves at top level − continues undiminished. Further alignment of upstream activities with downstream activities and with strategic partners can further increase effectiveness in the market and strengthen profitability.