Suominen’s net sales for the first six months in 2010 declined 6% compared to the corresponding period in 2009. The decrease was blamed on declining wet wipe prices and in the delivery volumes of nonwovens.
Because lower sales prices and decreased delivery volumes could not be compensated for through cost savings, the result was loss-making. Raw material prices continued to rise during the first part of the year. As there is a delay in passing cost increases through to sales prices, margins weakened.
In the first two quarters net sales of the Wiping business area were $67 million, showing an 11% decline compared to the previous year. Sales of baby wipes and moist toilet wipes decreased while sales of personal care wipes were somewhat higher than a year earlier.
Net sales of nonwovens decreased 16% to $34 million. The corresponding figure includes sales of thermobonded hygiene products, the sale of which mainly discontinued during 2009. Delivery volumes of hydroentangled wiping materials fell, while the sales of materials used in health care remained at the previous year’s level. Sales in the U.S. markets declined clearly. During the period under review, the unit’s nonwovens production was halted for 22 days, and during this period temporary layoffs affecting 74 people were implemented. Prices for raw materials and energy rose over the previous year.