In the personal care segment, net sales rose 2% in the fourth quarter 2009 to $865 million. Sales rose 3% as a result of an improved product mix and higher prices. Sales of Tena-brand incontinence care products increased 4%. Sales of baby diapers fell 7%; sales of feminine care products rose 6%.
Jan Johansson, president and CEO said, “Demand for hygiene products remained stable during the fourth quarter, and operating profit strengthened by 56% for Tissue and by 27% for Personal Care compared with the same period a year ago. While the large European tissue operations for the most part managed to offset higher raw material costs in recent months by a larger volume of deliveries and a better product mix, prices of recycled fiber rose sharply during the final month of the year in the U.S. and put pressures on margins there. In the personal care business area, operating profit and margins improved during the fourth quarter due to favorable performance for the Tena business (incontinence care products) in both North America and Europe.