Ahlstrom with clear improved profitability in the last quarter of 2015
Finnish Ahlstrom – the innovative fibre based materials company – reports clear improvement of profitability in the last quarter of 2015. Here are the major facts and figures
October-December 2015 compared with October-December 2014:
• Net sales EUR 255.0 million (EUR 247.0 million), showing an increase of 3.2%.Comparable net sales at constant currencies declined by 2.4 %.
• Operating profit EUR -16.4 million (EUR -4.3 million).
• Operating profit excluding non-recurring items EUR 7.6 million (EUR -1.8 million), representing 3.0% (-0.7 %) of net sales, and the ninth consecutive quarter of year-on-year improvement.
• Profit before taxes EUR -20.5 million (EUR 5.7 million).
• Earnings per share EUR -0.46 (EUR 0.09).
• Net cash flow from operative activities EUR 23.3 million (EUR 18.9 million).
January-December 2015 compared with January-December 2014
• Net sales EUR 1,074.7 million (EUR 1,001.1 million), showing an increase of 7.4 %. Comparable net sales at constant currencies declined by 0.7 %.
• Operating profit EUR 21.9 million (EUR -3.7 million).
• Operating profit excluding non-recurring items EUR 47.5 million (EUR 28.6 million), representing 4.4 % (2.9 %) of net sales.
• Profit before taxes EUR 22.6 million (EUR -9.4 million), including a EUR 20.3 million capital gain booked from the sale of Munksjö Oyj shares.
• Earnings per share EUR 0.06 (EUR -0.22).
• Net cash flow from operative activities EUR 60.0 million (EUR 35.4 million).
Marco Levi, President & CEO states: “Improving profitability was the major theme of our performance in 2015, and this was also reflected in the last quarter of the year, as we clearly delivered according to our plans. We have achieved this through continued optimization of the existing product portfolio, enhanced pricing, as well cost savings. In addition, we have increased the capacity utilization of the new assets including the Binzhou wallcoverings production line and the Longkou plant. The slowdown in some of our key markets that started in the middle of last year persisted until the end of the reporting period, and had a clear negative impact on net sales.
The slowdown was most visible in the Filtration business area, and particularly in engine filtration. The Food and Medical business area was also impacted by this to some extent, but as a whole, it consistently improved during the year. The Building and Energy business area continued to make very good progress in terms of sales growth and profitability improvement. I am also pleased with the accelerated pace of the ramp-up of our wallcoverings production line in China.
We start the new year with a much stronger balance sheet thanks to improved cash flow generation and the sale of non-core financial assets during last year. In 2016, our main focus will be on the implementation of the redefined strategy we announced today. We are building a stronger customer-driven company that is lean and focused, and have already taken action with the recently announced divestment of the glassfiber business.”
Outlook for 2016
The company expects net sales from continuing operations in 2016 to be between EUR 950-1050 million. The adjusted operating profit from continuing operations is expected to be 4.2 %-5.2 % of net sales.
The outlook excludes the Building & Wind business unit, which will be reported as part of discontinued operations starting from the beginning of 2016. The adjusted operating profit excludes restructuring costs, impairment charges and capital gains or losses.