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Suominen Sees Nonwovens Sales Decline

April 27, 2006

Suominen Corporation, Helsinki, Finland, recently reported first quarter financial results. Net sales of Suominen’s continuing operations for the first quarter were EUR€´ 49.2 million. The volume of sales declined slightly from the same period of the previous year, although average prices rose in both the corresponding period in 2005 and in the final quarter.

Operating profit was €0.7 million. Prices for oil-based raw materials declined slightly from the final quarter of 2005 and were on approximately the level of the first quarter of 2005. A program aiming at €5 million in cost cuts has proceeded according to plan, with savings of €1.5 million achieved during the first quarter.

During the period under review, the wipes and nonwovens business area recorded net sales of €31 million or 3% less than for the same period in 2005. This business area recorded an operating loss of €0.3 million. Net sales of wet wipes totaled €17 million and rose 9% over the previous year due to increased sales volumes. Growth in the European wet wipe markets continued and was also apparent in growing demand from wet wipes’ customers. Improvements in production efficiency continued and productivity rose.

Net sales of nonwovens decreased by 8% and were €17 million. Decline in the volume of sales was due to falling sales of thermally bonded hygiene product material. Deliveries of hydroentangled wet wipe material grew from the previous year. Deliveries within the business area to the wet wipes unit increased. Average sales prices rose slightly. Alignment of the unit’s costs to reflect reduced sales of thermally bonded nonwovens continued. Higher energy prices raised the costs of heating, electricity and freight.

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