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Xerium Technologies' CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

As a consequence, we enjoyed the strong first half bookings shown on Charts 3, 4, and 5 of the presentation we released last night. Our consolidated bookings for the first half year totaled $298.3 million, a 4.5% increase from 2010 second half of $285.4 million. Backlog grew by $10.9 million for the second half -- from the second half of 2010 through the first half of 2011.

The first half of 2011 was distinguished by customers, not only making increasing amounts of paper, but they were also replenishing their inventories of paper machine clothing that had been depleted during the recession. And they were performing required roll recoverings in mechanical service work that had been deferred during the same period.

Paper machine clothing and industrial textiles accounted for 63% of total bookings while Rolls and mechanical services accounted for the remaining 37%. The change in our historical Rolls segment mix of 37% of revenue versus our typical 34% was primarily related to 2 factors. The first was very strong growth in our Chinese roll covering business, resulting from our initiative to broaden our product offering there to include more types of covers, more new products and the addition of spread roll recovering, which should not have been a product we offered in China, but which accounts for more than 22% of our total Rolls segment revenue globally.

The second influence on segment mix was continued softness of our North American and European industrial textiles product line. These customers are closely related to building construction, which decreased PMC segment bookings. During the first half of 2011, our PMC factories were fully occupied with heavy overtime, particularly in the press felt product line, as we worked to reduce our backlog and shorten our order to delivery lead times, in response to customer needs. You may recall that our investments to increase press felt capacity were not yet fully online during the first half of the year. The first half of 2011 was also marked by a rapid increase in material costs driven primarily by the rise in prices of raw materials used in the production of PMC and roll covers, specifically oil-based yarns and synthetic and natural rubber.

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