Net sales for the first three quarters tallied $1.8 million. Loss before taxes was $9.8 million, while operating profit before taxes for the first three quarters combined amounted to $43 million.
In the FiberComposites segment, the recession has not impacted the demand for Ahlstrom’s food packaging and tea bag materials or nonwovens in medical applications. The demand for Ahlstrom’s construction materials increased slightly in July-September compared to the first half of the year. Also, demand for wipes and transportation filtration media improved after a weak January-June period. In addition, preparations for the possible spread of the H1N1 virus that causes swine flu had a slight upward impact on the demand for face masks and wipes.
Net sales decreased in all of Ahlstrom’s business areas compared to the third quarter of 2008. Compared to April-June 2009, net sales remained unchanged. Net sales for July-September tallied $597 million, a decline of 11.2% compared to the same period last year.
Net sales of the FiberComposites segment reached $323 million, representing 54% of the group’s net sales. The segment’s net sales were down 13.1% compared to July-September 2008. Net sales were reduced in all business areas due to lower volumes in most products. Net sales in the Advanced Nonwovens business area dove 13.5%, impacted by an extended summer shutdown. The steepest decline for the July-September 2009 period, 20.5% was seen in the Glass & Industrial Nonwovens business area, which was an increase of 9.6% compared to April through June 2009, particularly owing to increased demand for construction materials.
For the first nine months of 2009, net sales in the FiberComposites segment amounted to $951 million, representing 54% of the group’s net sales. Net sales fell by 15.9% compared to the 2008 period. Net sales of the Advanced Nonwovens business area plunged 5.5%, close to the level of last year, while Glass & Industrial Nonwovens net sales fell 28.3%.