Coats Viyella

Threading through to new markets

Coats Viyella's Thread Division is part of the Coats Viyella Group, a publicly quoted British company and one of the major textile businesses in the world.

Total Group turnover in 1996 was approximately US$4 billion.

The Thread Division is a 200-year-old global business present in most countries. Turnover in 1996 was in excess of $1.5 billion. The products manufactured and sold by the Thread Division fall into two main categories: industrial and crafts. Industrial products comprise sewing thread, zip fasteners and other sewing accessories, for which the main customers are manufacturers of garments, footwear, leather goods and household textiles. However, thread and zip fasteners are also used in a wide variety of other products, including cars, planes, books and tea bags.

Crafts products comprise sewing threads, zip fasteners, haberdashery products, embroidery and crochet threads and hand knitting yarns. They are used in homes around the world to create products such as pictures and to make and repair garments and tablecloths for home decoration.

Coats first established its sewing thread businesses in Central and Eastern Europe at the end of the last century. Companies and factories were set up in Russia, Poland, Hungary, Romania and other countries. These businesses prospered until they were all eventually lost due to nationalisation after the Second World War.

At the end of the 1980s, Coats used the opportunities presented by the changes in political regimes in Central and Eastern European countries to develop and expand its business in this part of the world even further.

Significant investments have been made in factories, warehouses and sales organisations in almost all countries in the region to meet the demands of industrial and crafts customers. In particular, an $11 million state-of-the-art thread production facility was opened in July 1995 in the city of Lodz in central Poland to meet the demands of the rapidly growing Polish market. Coats has also invested heavily in Hungary, buying back its original factory in Budapest in the early '90s and, through major investments in machinery and people, it has turned this factory into a show piece for the region. The factory not only supplies the Hungarian market but also exports Coats' top quality industrial threads to other countries in the region.

At the beginning of 1997, Coats bought back from the government its other pre-war thread factory located in the town of Nagyatad. Coats also plans to turn this site into a state-of-the-art production facility for crafts products for the local and export markets.

These investments coincide with a significant move by Western European garment manufacturers to source more of their products in the lower cost countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

These garment manufacturers are now able to rely on Coats companies in the region to supply them with the product, quality and service which they expect in their home countries. Equally, Coats is now in a position to supply the many millions of crafts consumers with a range of products which they have not seen for the past fifty years. This will contribute to a resurgence in creative activities and hobbies, such as dressmaking, embroidery and knitting.

Coats' business strategy in Central and Eastern Europe is to make appropriate investments in land, buildings, machinery and people to meet the requirements of a rapidly increasing number of customers.

A number of investment projects are currently under investigation and, if realised, these projects will lead to a further strengthening of Coats' presence in these very important markets of the future.

Coats can be contacted in Central and Eastern Europe as follows:

Regional Office for Eastern Europe

Managing Director:
Mr David Gilliver
c/o Coats Cucirin S.p.A.
Via Vespucci, 2
20124 Milano (Italy)
Tel: 39-2-63615220
Fax: 39-2-29004111
Regional Office for Eastern Europe
c/o Coats Opti Oy
Ketjutie 3
FIN-04220 Kerava (Finland)
Tel: 358-9-274871
Fax: 358-9-246186
Regional Office for Eastern Europe
c/o Coats Hungary
Vaci ut 91
1044 Budapest
Tel: 36-1-1699-288
Fax: 36-1-1691-605

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