Interim report January-June 2005: Ahlstrom's profitability improved

Interim report January-June 2005: Ahlstrom's profitability improved

Ahlstrom, a leader in high performance fiber-based materials, reports an improved second-quarter result. Operating profit for the second quarter amounted to EUR 30.3 million (Q2/2004: EUR 20.3 million), representing a 7.5% margin (5.0%). Net sales were EUR 402.8 million (Q2/2004: EUR 405.2 million, net sales adjusted for divestments EUR 375.5 million). Return on capital employed (ROCE) increased to 12.1% (8.8%).
 
April - June 2005 in brief
 
- Net sales grew by 7.2% and volumes by 4.7% (both adjusted for divestments)
 
- Increased operational efficiency and reduced fixed costs improved profitability
 
- Return on capital employed (ROCE) close to company long-term target level of 13%
 
- The labor dispute in the Finnish paper industry had no material impact on Ahlstrom's operating profit
 
Key figures
 
EUR million
Q2/2005
Q2/2004
H1/2005
H1/2004
2004
Net sales
402.8
405.2
787.1
802.6
1,567.8
Operating profit
30.3
20.3
58.9
27.9*
63.7*
Profit before taxes
25.4
18.1
52.4
22.9
49.6
Net profit
14.3
11.6
32.3
14.0
34.3
Net cash flow from operations
25.9
-3.2
37.1
17.6
128.0
Gearing ratio, %
65.1
76.5
65.1
76.5
61.1
Return on capital employed (ROCE),%
12.1
8.8
12.1
6.4
7.2
Cash earnings per share (EUR)
0.71
-0.09
1.02
0.48
3.52
Earnings per share (EUR)
0.39
0.32
0.89
0.39
0.94
 
*The operating profit for the first quarter of 2004 includes restructuring costs of EUR 11.6 million due to the streamlining of operations in 2004.

Mr. Jukka Moisio, President & CEO of Ahlstrom Corporation, says:

"Ahlstrom's financial performance improved during the second quarter of 2005. Geographically, the North American and Asian markets improved while Europe was weaker. The business environment was challenging with more expensive raw materials putting pressure on margins. Despite the demanding market situation, Ahlstrom's sales increased, demonstrating that our customers recognize our strength as a leading fiber-based materials supplier. Good manufacturing performance, combined with lower fixed costs, helped us show second quarter profitability close to the company long-term target ROCE of 13%, which further increases our confidence that we can achieve our financial targets."
 
For additional information, please contact:
Jukka Moisio, President and CEO, tel. + 358 (0)10 888 4700 or +358 50 359 5934
Jari Mäntylä, Senior Vice President, Finance, tel. +358 (0)10 888 4768 or +358 50 325 8768
 
 
The full report including tables can be downloaded from the following link:
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