Overview Glatfelter began operations in 1864, and over the past few years a key component of our strategy has been a focus on growing our engineered materials businesses. In connection with this strategy, in 2018 we divested the former Specialty Papers business unit, acquired Georgia Pacific's European nonwovens business based in Steinfurt, Germany ("Steinfurt") and completed the start-up of our new airlaid production facility in Fort Smith, Arkansas. As a leading global supplier of engineered materials for consumer and industrial applications, we maintain leading positions in key segments serving markets that are growing commensurate with or in excess of gross domestic product ("GDP"). We are headquartered in York, Pennsylvania, and our net sales approximate $950 million annually with customers in over 100 countries. Operations include eleven manufacturing facilities located in the United States, Canada, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the Philippines. Our business is managed as two separate business units: Composite Fibers and Advanced Airlaid Materials.
We partner with leading consumer product companies and other market leaders to provide innovative solutions delivering outstanding performance to meet market requirements. Over the past several years, we have made investments to increase production capacity and improve our technical capabilities to ensure we are best positioned to serve the market demands and grow our revenue. We are committed to growing in our key markets and will make appropriate investments to support our customers and satisfy market demands.
In the first quarter of 2018, we produced and delivered our first commercial shipment of Airlaid product from our new $90 million facility in Arkansas. This 20,000 metric-ton facility was built to meet the growing demands of the North American market. Throughout 2018, this facility continued to ramp up production and shipments of wipes and table top products. This investment together with the Steinfurt acquisition