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Sales growth continues at Ahlstrom in January-September
Oct '10
Ahlstrom, a global leader in the development, manufacture and marketing of high performance nonwovens and specialty papers, announced interim report January-September 2010.

July-September 2010 compared to July-September 2009:

• Net sales EUR 482.4 million (EUR 400.6 million), up 20.4%.
• Operating profit EUR 16.9 million (EUR 13.1 million). The figure includes non-recurring items of EUR 0.3 million (EUR -4.4 million).
• Profit before taxes EUR 8.3 million (EUR 7.3 million), and earnings per share EUR 0.06 (EUR 0.10).
• Net cash flow from operating activities EUR 67.5 million (EUR 67.3 million).

January-September 2010 compared to January-September 2009:

• Net sales EUR 1,412.8 million (EUR 1,175.6 million), up 20.2%.
• Operating profit EUR 60.7 million (EUR 12.1 million). The figure includes non-recurring items of EUR 1.4 million (EUR -8.2 million).
• Profit before taxes EUR 38.1 million (loss before taxes EUR 6.6 million) and earnings per share EUR 0.44 (EUR -0.11).
• Net cash flow from operating activities EUR 144.7 million (EUR 161.0 million).

Events in July-September 2010

• Ahlstrom completed the acquisition of Shandong Puri Filter & Paper Products Limited, manufacturer of filter materials for the transportation industry, in China.
• The company's new financial reporting segments became effective on July 1, 2010 as part of the renewed organizational and operating model.

Outlook for 2010

• Ahlstrom reiterates its previous outlook. The company estimates that net sales for the current year will be above the 2008 level. Operating profit excluding non-recurring items is estimated to increase from 2009.

Long-term financial targets

• The company's Board of Directors today approved Ahlstrom's specified long-term financial targets. The targets for return on capital employed and gearing ratio remain unchanged, and in addition, Ahlstrom is seeking an increase of at least 5% in net sales annually at constant currency rates, including acquisitions.

Jan Lång, President and CEO:
The demand for our products continued to develop as forecasted in most of our customer segments, and our cash flow remained strong in the third quarter, when demand is seasonally weaker in many of our markets. Our growth strategy in Asia moved forward with the completion of the acquisition of Shandong Puri Filter & Paper Products Limited in China.

Higher maintenance costs and adverse currency moves affected our results negatively in the quarter. However, we will continue to work hard to improve our profitability and increase performance of the production lines that were part of our 2007 and 2008 investment program.

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