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Suominen Sees Q2 Loss

August 14, 2006

Reporting sluggish demand for nonwovens during the second quarter, Suominen Corporation, Tampere, Finland, has seen a decline in both net sales and sales volumes. Net sales were €97 million, down from €99.7 million in the second quarter of last year. Net sales of Suominen Corporation’s continuing operations for the second quarter were €47.7 million, a decline from €51 million in the year-earlier quarter. The company saw a loss in operating profit of 0.5 million, an improvement over last year’s second quarter loss of 0.9.

Net sales of the continuing operations for the first two quarters totaled €97 million, a decline from €99.7 during the same period last year. According to the company, sales volumes declined by 3% compared to the same period in 2005 due to declining sales of nonwovens.

The company reported higher prices for oil-based raw materials compared to the same period in 2005. Suominen’s cost reduction program, initiated last fall, has proceeded as planned and savings during the first half of the year amounted to €3 million, according to the company.

During the second quarter, Suominen’s wipes and nonwovens business area recorded net sales of €60 million or 8% less than during the same period in 2005. The wipes and nonwovens business area recorded an operating loss of €0.8 million compared to a loss of 1.3 million during last year’s second quarter. Net sales of wet wipes totaled €33.6 million and rose 1% from the previous year.

According to Suominen, the market for wet wipes in Europe continues to grow slowly while competition has remained intense. Growth was below anticipated levels due to delayed start-up of certain new customer development projects. New sales to retail chains proved to be more difficult than expected.

Net sales of nonwovens, at €32.2 million, decreased 11%. The company attributes the decline in sales volume to lower sales of thermally bonded hygiene product materials compared to 2005. Deliveries of nonwovens to the wet wipes unit continued to grow while external sales declined due to sluggish demand for nonwovens during the second quarter.
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