Ahlstrom Q1: Ahlstrom's first-quarter result improved

Ahlstrom Q1: Ahlstrom's first-quarter result improved

The report has been prepared in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Comparable figures refer to the same period last year unless otherwise stated.
 
Ahlstrom, a leader in high performance fiber-based materials, reports an improved first- quarter result compared with the same period last year. Operating profit was EUR 28.6 million, compared with EUR 7.6 million a year earlier, representing a 7.4% margin (1.9%). Net sales amounted to EUR 384.2 million (EUR 397.4 million). Return on capital employed (ROCE) was 12.3% (4.0%).
 
January-March 2005 in brief
- Comparable sales volumes (excluding divested businesses) grew by 4.3%
- Ahlstrom's profitability improved due to better operational efficiency and lower fixed costs
- Ahlstrom announced an investment of EUR 18 million to expand its production capacity of
  release base papers in Italy
- The business environment is expected to continue to be challenging
 
Key figures
EUR million
Q1/2005
Q1/2004
2004
Net sales
384.2
397.4
1,567.8
Operating profit
28.6
7.6*
63.7
Profit before taxes
27.0
4.8
49.6
Net profit
17.9
2.4
34.3
Net cash flow from operations
11.2
20.8
128.0
Gearing ratio (%)
59.6
52.2
61.1
Return on capital employed (ROCE),%
12.3
4.0
7.2
Cash earnings per share (EUR)
0.31
0.57
3.52
Earnings per share (EUR)
0.49
0.07
0.94

*The figure includes restructuring costs of EUR 11.6 million due to a reporting change required by the currently applied IFRS standards. According to the previously used Finnish Accounting Standards (FAS) these costs were included in the operating profit for 2003. The comparable operating profit for 2004 amounted to EUR 19.2 million.
 
Jukka Moisio, President & CEO, says:

"Ahlstrom's financial performance continued to improve during the first quarter of 2005, despite the challenging market environment and the mediocre demand across several business areas. Stronger operational performance and the measures taken to lower our costs helped us to show first quarter profitability close to the company's target ROCE of 13%. The positive development increases our confidence that, as a focused fiber-based materials producer, Ahlstrom is well positioned to further improve its customer service and achieve its financial targets."
 
 
Financial information in 2005
Interim report January-June                                  July 28, 2005
Interim report January-September                         October 31, 2005
 
 
Helsinki, April 27, 2005
 
Ahlstrom Corporation
Board of Directors
 
 
This report contains certain forward-looking statements that reflect the present views of the company's
management. Due to the nature of these statements, they contain uncertainties and risks and are subject to changes in the general economic situation and in the company's business.
 
 
The full report including tables can be downloaded from the following link:
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