According to Suominen, raw material prices leveled off temporarily during the spring; however, quoted prices for supplies for the summer period are back to higher levels. The rise in raw material prices, the delay in transferring these increases over to sales prices and price reductions based on contracts reduced the value-added margin by some €2 million, the company reported. Energy and payroll costs increased about €1.5 million compared to the first six months of 2007. Suominen’s cost-saving program has generated €2.5 million since the previous year.
During the period under review, net sales of the Wipes and Nonwovens business area totaled €72.0 million, an increase of 8% from the corresponding period in 2007. The business area’s operating profit totaled €0.2 million.
Net sales of Wet Wipes totaled €35.9 million, an increase of 7% over the previous year. Delivery volumes grew, and strong growth was seen in personal care wipes in particular. Average sales prices fell as expected, mainly due to long-term contracts. Wet Wipes accounted for €0.3 million, Nonwovens €0.6 million and Flexible Packaging €1.1 million of total investments.