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Ahlstrom net sales go up in Q1 2007

Apr '07
Ahlstrom a leader in high performance fiber-based materials, reports an operating profit of EUR 23.3 million for the first quarter of 2007 (EUR 29.6 million), representing a 5.6% margin (7.1%).

Profit before taxes was EUR 20.3 million (EUR 25.1 million). Return on capital employed (ROCE) was 10.0% (12.3%). Net sales amounted to EUR 416.5 million (EUR 414.6 million) and earnings per share (EPS) to EUR 0.29 (EUR 0.41).

Excluding non-recurring items, the operating profit for the first quarter of 2007 was EUR 19.6 million (EUR 26.3 million), representing a 4.7% margin (6.3%). Profit before taxes was EUR 16.5 million (EUR 21.8 million) and ROCE 8.4% (11.0%), both excluding non-recurring items.

Net sales (adjusted for currency effect) grew by 3.4% from the first quarter of 2006.

Operating profit improved by 39% from the last quarter of 2006 due to increased sales volumes and lower fixed costs.

Ahlstrom announced four acquisitions with combined annualized net sales of approximately EUR 300 million.

The defined benefit pension plan in the United Kingdom was closed and the historical deficit was funded by EUR 21 million, impacting Ahlstrom's cash flow.

Jukka Moisio, President & CEO, comments Ahlstrom's first quarter: The acquisitions in the FiberComposites segment will make us the third largest nonwoven roll good supplier in the world and the intended Brazilian joint venture in specialty papers provides strategic access to raw materials and fast growing markets.

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