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Ahlstrom reports operating profit growth in first half year of 2016

The company also reported an increase in operating profit for the first half of 2016, which constituted EUR 34.0 million.

3rd August 2016

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Helsinki

Medical/Hygiene, Packaging, Interiors

The company also reported an increase in operating profit for the first half of 2016, which constituted EUR 34.0 million, compared to EUR 28.4 million in the first half of 2015.

Second quarter results

Net sales amounted to EUR 279.4 million, compared to EUR 281.1 million for the same quarter in 2015. At constant currency rates, growth was 2.8%. Adjusted EBITDA was EUR 37.1 million, representing 13.3% of net sales.

Adjusted operating profit was EUR 24.5 million, compared to EUR 16.8 million for the second quarter 2015, representing 8.8% of net sales, and the 11th consecutive quarter of year-on-year improvement. Profit before taxes was EUR 19.6 million, compared to EUR 20.8 million. Net cash flow from operating activities constituted EUR 54.9 million, compared to EUR 14.0 million for the same period last year.

"April-June 2016 was a very strong quarter, where we delivered sales growth of 2.8% at constant currency rates and were able to raise our profitability to an all-time high level in the current structure of the company,” commented Marco Levi, President & CEO. “Albeit we continued to benefit from lower variable costs, we now have a much improved operational efficiency and a more competitive cost structure.”

January-June 2016 results

In the first half of 2016, net sales constituted EUR 546.6 million, compared to EUR 552.9 million for the same period in 2015. At constant currency rates, growth was 1.0%. Adjusted EBITDA was EUR 65.1 million, versus EUR 57.7 million in 2015, representing 11.9% of net sales.

Adjusted operating profit was EUR 39.5 million, compared to EUR 28.8 million in the first half of 2015, representing 7.2% of net sales. Profit before taxes amounted to EUR 26.4 million, which was a decline compared to the same period last year, when it was EUR 34.6 million. Finally, net cash flow from operating activities was EUR 63.3 million, compared to EUR 12.5 million in 2015.

Redefined strategy

Ahlstrom's redefined strategy and new long-term financial targets extending to the year 2018 were announced in January 2016. As part of the implementation, the company's business structure was simplified and reorganized into two business areas: Filtration & Performance and Specialties.

The aim of this change is to increase market and customer focus. Both business areas have business unit-specific strategies and operating models. The company says it enables it to provide customer-driven product development and tailored customer service, cost efficiency, better allocation of resources, and specific go-to-market approaches.

“We are successfully executing on our strategic roadmap through better commercial excellence and a new lean operating model, and will further pursue to improve margins and lower costs. In addition, we are growing by increasing the capacity utilization of our recent investments and finding new growth opportunities in areas such as single-serve coffee materials and water filtration,” said Marco Levi.

Outlook for 2016

Ahlstrom reiterates the outlook published on 27 July 2016. The company expects net sales from continuing operations in 2016 to be in the range of EUR 1,040-1,140 million. The adjusted operating profit from continuing operations is expected to be 5.4%-6.4% of net sales.

The adjusted operating profit excludes restructuring costs, impairment charges and capital gains or losses.

Further reading

Ahlstrom terminates divestment of its Building & Wind business

www.ahlstrom.com

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