Ahlstrom posts lower profits for 2006

High performance fiber-based materials manufacturer Ahlstrom reported an operating profit of EUR 96.1 million for full year 2006 (EUR 117.2 million for 2005). Profit before taxes was EUR 81.2 million …

High performance fiber-based materials manufacturer Ahlstrom reported an operating profit of EUR 96.1 million for full year 2006 (EUR 117.2 million for 2005). Profit before taxes was EUR 81.2 million (EUR 100.7 million). Return on capital employed (ROCE) was 10.4% (12.4%). Net sales amounted to EUR 1,599.1 million (EUR 1,552.6 million) and earnings per share to EUR 1.31 (EUR 1.71). The board of directors has proposed a dividend of EUR 1.00 (EUR 1.79) per share to be paid for the financial year 2006. Excluding non-recurring items, the operating profit for full year 2006 was EUR 87.3 million (EUR 99.0 million). Profit before taxes was EUR 72.5 million (EUR 82.5 million) and ROCE was 9.5% (10.5%), both excluding non-recurring items. All figures in parenthesis refers to 2005. Jukka Moisio, President & CEO, said “The year 2006 marked a major change for Ahlstrom, as the company made a successful initial public offering on the Helsinki Stock Exchange. The IPO provided us with good financial resources that were further strengthened by good operative cash flow of 2006”. “During the year, we implemented our strategy through announcing and starting up several growth investments. We divested non-core assets as well as streamlined the company structure. Our comparable net sales grew by 5% and return on capital employed, our most important financial target, was 10.4%. I consider this a reasonable achievement in difficult trading conditions where increased energy and raw material costs affected our profitability throughout the year”. “Ahlstrom“s excellent financial position supports our long term customer commitment and our growth strategy implementation and will help us to achieve our targets”.