Ahlstrom announces its redefined strategy and new long-term financial targets

Ahlstrom announces its redefined strategy and new long-term financial targets

Ahlstrom Corporation STOCK EXCHANGE RELEASE January 29, 2016 at 08.15

Ahlstrom announces its redefined strategy and new long-term financial targets

Ahlstrom announces its redefined strategy and new long-term financial targets extending to the year 2018 following a comprehensive review. We are committed to growing and creating stakeholder value by providing the best performing sustainable fiber-based materials. Our vision is to be our customers' first choice.

The needs of our customers are affected by end-user behavior, which challenges us to constantly develop and improve fiber-based material solutions. Global trends - growing global population and scarcity of resources, increased demand for greener and resource-efficient materials, emerging needs in healthcare, changes in demographics and urbanization - faced by our customers steer our product offering and provide us with a wealth of opportunities.

"To be the first choice of our customers, we need to be even better in anticipating end-user needs," says Ahlstrom's President & CEO Marco Levi. "By providing innovative solutions, we help our customers succeed."

New roadmap

Ahlstrom's strategy is built on three key success factors: customer focused solutions with tailor-made products, leading technology and manufacturing platforms, global reach and local insights. Our mission is to provide innovative fiber-based materials with a function in everyday life.

As part of the implementation the company's business structure was simplified as of the beginning of this year and reorganized into two business areas: Filtration & Performance and Specialties. The aim of this change is to increase market and customer focus. Both segments have business unit specific strategies and operating models. This enables us to provide customer-driven product development and tailored customer service, cost efficiency, better allocation of resources, and specific go-to-market approaches.

 "We believe that with our strategy we can achieve our vision," Levi continues. "However, for us to be the best possible partner for our customers, we need to make a shift in the execution."

The roadmap for execution outlines the change in strategy and is focused on commercial excellence, a new lean operating model, organic growth via higher asset turnover and growth via new platforms.

As part of the redefined strategy, the Board of Directors has approved Ahlstrom's new long-term financial targets over the economic cycle:

  • Operating profit margin: Adjusted operating profit margin to be above 8% by 2018
  • Gearing: Gearing to be maintained below 100%
  • Dividend policy: We aim for a stable dividend, increasing over time, based on the annual net income performance

The adjusted operating profit margin excludes restructuring costs, impairment charges, capital gains or losses, and discontinued operations.

Ahlstrom's President & CEO Marco Levi will present the company's strategy and financial statements today at an analyst and press conference in Helsinki on Friday, January 29 at 11:00 a.m. Finnish time. The event will take place at Ahlstrom's head office, Alvar Aallon katu 3 C, second floor, Antti meeting room. Financial statements bulletin 2015 will be presented as well at the event.

The combined webcast and teleconference will be held in English and can be viewed at the following address: http://qsb.webcast.fi/a/ahlstrom/ahlstrom_2016_0129_q4/

Conference call details:

In Finland +358 (0)9 2313 1619
In Sweden +46 (0)8 5065 3933
In the U.K. +44 (0)20 3427 1929

To participate via telephone, please dial a few minutes before the conference begins. A list of phone numbers for other countries is available at www.ahlstrom.com/Investors. The confirmation code is 5738142.

The full strategy presentation in PDF form will be available later today on the company's website www.ahlstrom.com/en/About-Ahlstrom/Strategy/.

For more information, please contact:
Satu Perälampi
VP, Communications
Tel. +358 10 888 4738

Juho Erkheikki
Financial Communications & Investor Relations Manager
Tel. +358 10 888 4731

Ahlstrom in brief
Ahlstrom provides innovative fiber-based materials with a function in everyday life. We are committed to growing and creating stakeholder value by proving the best performing sustainable fiber-based materials. Our products are used in everyday applications such as filters, medical fabrics, life science and diagnostics, wallcoverings, tapes, and food and beverage packaging. In 2014, Ahlstrom's net sales amounted to EUR 1 billion. Our 3,400 employees serve customers in 22 countries. Ahlstrom's share is quoted on the Nasdaq Helsinki. More information available at www.ahlstrom.com.

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