Ahlstrom implements profit improvement program to address underperforming units

Ahlstrom implements profit improvement program to address underperforming units

Ahlstrom Corporation STOCK EXCHANGE RELEASE 18.10.2011 09.50

Ahlstrom Corporation, a global high-performance materials company, will implement a profit improvement program to address underperforming businesses. The program aims to improve annual operating profit by approximately EUR 15 million euros starting from the year 2012 and may affect about 400 employees. The overall impact of the non-recurring items of the program is cash neutral.

For the measures announced today, Ahlstrom will book a non-recurring cost of about EUR 25 million in its third-quarter 2011 financial results. Further improvement measures are being considered and will be announced in due course.

As a result of the co-operation negotiations started in September at its Karhula and Mikkeli plants, part of the Building and Energy business area, Ahlstrom has decided to gradually discontinue the production of glassfiber and glassfiber mats in Karhula by the end of 2011 as the operation is unprofitable. The production of glassfiber tissue at the site will continue as before.

The decision to end glassfiber production will lead to a personnel reduction of 163 employees in Finland starting from October. The company has started internally and in the Kotka region several programs aimed at finding new employment opportunities for the affected employees. Co-operation negotiations are still on-going at the Mikkeli plant which manufactures glassfiber reinforcements and are expected to be finalized in the coming weeks. Ahlstrom will book net non-recurring costs of approximately EUR 11 million regarding its glassfiber business.

In the Building and Energy business area, Ahlstrom has decided to close its hybrid wallcover production line in Turin, Italy, in October. The line started in 2009 has been permanently affected by weak profitability. Negotiations with employee representatives concerning the 22 employees working at the line have been initiated. The measures will lead to non-recurring costs of approximately EUR 11 million.

In the Label and Processing business area, Ahlstrom is initiating negotiations on streamlining measures at its Osnabrück plant in Germany that may affect a maximum of 39 employees in the next 18 months. Ahlstrom will book non-recurring costs of approximately EUR 3 million for the plan.

Ahlstrom will make every effort in supporting employees affected by the changes with various measures.

For more information, please contact:
Liisa Nyyssönen
Vice President, Communications
Tel. +358 10 888 4757

Ahlstrom in brief
Ahlstrom is a high performance materials company, partnering with leading businesses around the world to help them stay ahead. Our products are used in a large variety of everyday applications, such as filters, wallcovers, wipes, flooring, labels and food packaging. We have a leading market position in the businesses in which we operate. Our 5,700 employees serve customers in 26 countries on six continents. In 2010, Ahlstrom's net sales amounted to EUR 1.9 billion. The company's share is quoted on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. More information available at www.ahlstrom.com.

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