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16th April 2018, Helsinki

Suominen celebrates 120th anniversary

Suominen, a leading nonwovens company, is celebrating its 120-year history. Juho Wiktor Suominen (1877–1935) established a tannery workshop in Nakkila, Finland on 16 April 1898. Today, one of Suominen Corporation’s eight production plants is still located at the same site.

Juho W. Suominen’s company started out handcrafting leather for local shoemakers, but by 1908, thanks to increasing demand from the shoe industry in Finland, the company was already operating a factory-like tannery powered by a steam engine.

Nakkila production site. © Suominen

Later, the weakening position of the shoe industry and new alternatives to leather entering the market forced the company to change its course, and in 1965 Suominen started manufacturing nonwoven products, such as carpeting, wadding and single-use wipes, in addition to leather. Since then, Suominen Corporation has produced faux fur and plastic bags, among other things, but from 2014 onwards Suominen has been a purely nonwovens company.

The Suominen family sold its stake in the company in 1984 and, since then, Suominen has been involved in many acquisitions and divestments of businesses. Suominen, as it is today, was born in 2011, when it acquired Ahlstrom Corporation's Home and Personal wipes fabrics business area, becoming overnight a market-leading company with operations on three continents.

“Suominen has shed its skin many times in its history. The entrepreneurial mindset that Juho W. Suominen rooted in the company during his time has been vital throughout the years, and we continue to cherish it. That is why we call Suominen a community of changemakers,” commented Nina Kopola, President and CEO, Suominen Corporation.

Suominen manufactures nonwovens as roll goods for wipes, as well as for medical and hygiene products. The end products made of Suominen’s nonwovens include wet wipes, feminine care products and swabs, for instance. The company employs more than 650 people in Europe and in the Americas. Suominen’s net sales in 2017 amounted to EUR 426.0 million and operating profit to EUR 15 million.

www.suominen.fi

Further reading

New Suominen turns five: Interview with Nina Kopola, President & CEO

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