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Nonwovens/​Converting

Suominen reports profit growth in Q1 2017

The company’s profit for the period grew to EUR 4.2 million, from EUR 3.4 million in 2016.

26th April 2017

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Helsinki

Medical/Hygiene

Suominen, a leading supplier of nonwovens as roll goods for wipes, has reported a profit increase for the first quarter of 2017, which ended on 31 March. The company’s profit for the period grew to EUR 4.2 million, from EUR 3.4 million in 2016.

Net sales also increased by 9% and amounted to EUR 112.9 million, compared to 103.9 in the same period last year. Operating profit improved by 13% to EUR 6.3 million. The company now expects that for the full year 2017, its net sales will improve from year 2016. Also, the comparable operating profit is estimated to improve from year 2016, provided that the new production line at the Bethune plant will be started up as planned.

Consumer confidence

“Consumer confidence remained strong in the beginning of 2017. In the US, the consumer confidence index rose to its highest level since 2001. In the euro zone, the consumer confidence index also continued to rise. Nonwovens manufactured by Suominen are used mainly in daily consumer goods, which means the development of demand is affected by both the general economic situation and consumer confidence. North America and Europe are Suominen’s main market areas,” commented Nina Kopola, President & CEO.

“We are very pleased to see that Suominen returned to a growth track in the first quarter,” said Nina Kopola. “While demand improved from the comparison period as we expected, the competitive situation remained tight, especially in nonwovens for baby wipes and flushables. Most of the sales growth was generated by increased volumes and we were able to improve our market share.”

“Moreover, our operating profit increased from the comparison period and amounted to EUR 6.3 million. The profit for the reporting period grew to EUR 4.2 million. Suominen’s cash flow from operations remained at a healthy level.”

Growth strategy

As technology clearly plays an important role in creating a competitive edge, the company established a new corporate function, Technology, to further strengthen Suominen’s competitiveness. The new function consolidates the company’s technological expertise and its development, as well as R&D, into one entity. In February, Markku Koivisto was appointed to lead the new function as Chief Technology Officer and as a member of Suominen’s Corporate Executive Team.

Suominen continued the determined work to execute its strategy during the review period. The largest project in its growth investment programme, the new wetlaid production line focusing on high value-added products at the Bethune plant in SC, USA, is reaching its completion. “We were not able to start customer deliveries during the first quarter as we had targeted, due to certain problems concerning parts of the machinery. We are now planning to start up the new line during the second quarter,” the company reports.

“To increase the share of high value-added products in our portfolio, we launched several new high value-added products in the market. To give a few examples, I would highlight Genesis Pro and Airlace for Workplace for workplace wiping, as well as the Designer Series nonwoven patterns for household and baby wipes,” said Nina Kopola.

www.suominen.fi

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