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Ahlstrom reports growth in operating profit in 1Q 2015

The company has achieved operating profit excluding non-recurring items of EUR 12 million, showing a 66.5% increase over the same period last year.

29th April 2015

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Helsinki

Industrial, Construction, Medical/Hygiene, Sustainable, Transport/​Aerospace, Civil Engineering, Interiors

The company has achieved operating profit excluding non-recurring items of EUR 12 million, showing a 66.5% increase over the same period last year, when it constituted EUR 7.2 million.

Net sales have also risen to EUR 271.8 million, compared to EUR 249.2 million in 2014, showing an increase of 9.1%.

Improved performance

“We continued to improve our financial performance in the quarter, driven by improved results in the Filtration and the Food and Medical business areas,” commented Marco Levi, President and CEO.

“We have seen a positive impact from our enhanced pricing and product mix, while foreign currency fluctuations also had a positive impact. The Building and Energy business area suffered from low volumes and an adverse currency effect.”

“The program to improve the results of our commercial operations has now been extended to all our business areas, and the benefits are already visible. We are also moving ahead at full speed with the other key priorities of our roadmap, and will continue to focus on selling, general and administrative cost reductions by streamlining our office structure.”


Profit before taxes amounted to EUR 13.8 million, compared to EUR 5.2 million in 2014, including a EUR 6 million capital gain booked from the sale of Munksjö Oyj shares.

Comparable net sales at constant currencies remained flat, as better pricing and product mix were offset by lower volumes. Reported net sales growth was primarily driven by a favorable currency effect.

The company observed sixth consecutive quarter of year-on-year improvement in profitability excluding non-recurring items as Filtration, and Food and Medical businesses continued to improve their performance.


Ahlstrom reiterated the outlook published in 29 January 2015. The company expects net sales in 2015 to be in the range of EUR 1,000-1,100 million. The operating profit margin excluding non-recurring items is expected to be 3.5-5% of net sales.

In 2015, investments excluding acquisitions are estimated to be approximately EUR 35 million, compared to EUR 45.4 million in 2014.

Short-term risks

Uncertainly related to the global economic growth poses risks to Ahlstrom's financial performance. Slower-than-anticipated growth may lead to lower sales volumes and force the company to initiate more market-related shutdowns at plants, which could affect profitability.

In recent years, Ahlstrom has undertaken investment projects, such as the wall coverings production line in Binzhou, China, that are in a start-up phase. The company's financial results may be negatively affected by the performance of the new production lines.

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