Chargeurs Wool specializes in topmaking, which consists of designing wool blends that successfully meet the needs of spinning mills. It is a world leader in combed wool sales.
Following scouring which rids the wool of impurities, raw wool is carded and combed into tops : a large sliver of wool which is sold to spinners.
Tops are made from blends, which ensure consistent production quality. Fibers are measured in microns which determine the final uses.
The year 2012
Chargeurs Wool’s revenue declined to €164.1 million in 2012, primarily as a result of the 21% fall-off in volumes. During the year, the business was confronted with both a steep drop in wool demand and a growing scarcity of bank financing to purchase raw wool. In response, it had to make extensive adjustments, by reducing its combing capacity in China by more than a third and lowering its fixed cost structure in Australia.
These measures resulted in a sharp contraction in operating profit for the year.
In South America, Chargeurs Wool finalized the partnership agreement with the Otegui family group in September, by selling the family group a 50% interest in the wool operations in Uruguay, thereby strengthening the collaboration initiated in 1990.
In the same way, in December, Chargeurs partnered with an Argentine entrepreneur by selling him a 50% stake in the local wool operations.
In its new configuration, Chargeurs Wool is becoming a services business with a minimum number of industrial assets that are owned jointly with local entrepreneurs who operate in wool-producing countries.
Having sharply reduced its fixed costs and capital employed in industrial assets, Chargeurs Wool will now focus on its topmaking business and customer relationships, backed by the excellence of its global marketing network. It will maintain its risk management policy based, in particular, on carefully selecting contracts and reducing their duration.