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Ahlstrom Results Impacted By Raw Mat Pricing

August 14, 2006

Ahlstrom Corporation, Helsinki, Finland, has released sales and earnings figures for the April-to-June 2006 period. The company earned a pre-tax profit of €25.2 million versus €25.4 million a year ago. As have most nonwoven roll goods producers, Ahlstrom cited a persistent rise in raw material and energy prices.

Net sales rose to approximately €410 million from €403 million in the year-ago period. According to Jukka Moisio, Ahlstrom’s chief executive, the company continued to increase sales prices and reduce costs to offset the impact of increasingly expensive raw materials on its margins.

"We also worked on growth investments and announced a decision to build a glass nonwoven facility in the U.S. to serve windmill and marine industries," Mr. Moisio explained.

European demand is expected to pick up in the second half versus the first six months of the year, he added. "In the Americas, growth is anticipated to slow down while demand in Asian markets is expected to remain at a good level." Ahlstrom repeated its full-year sales forecast, saying it expected sales to grow compared with last year's.

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