Nonwovens producer Ahlstrom has reported fourth quarter results. During the October-December 2010 period, net sales reached $657 million, an increase of 14.5% compared to the same period in 2009, attributable to price increases. Loss before taxes was $17 million.
Net sales of the Filtration segment were $116 million, an increase of 19.7%, due to the increased demand in the transportation industry in Asia and North America as well as the increases in selling prices.
Net sales of the Food and Medical segment were $126 million, an increase of 17.5%. Sales volumes of the food industry packaging and infusion materials and of the medical nonwovens grew due to improved demand.
Net sales of the Home and Personal segment were $103 million, an increase of 3%, due to price increases. The period was positively impacted by the preparations for the possible spread of the H1N1 virus, which boosted the demand for hygiene products.
Net sales of the Label and Processing segment were $248 million, an increase of 12%.
For the full year, Group net sales were $2.6 billion, an increase of 18.7% compared to the previous year. Within this group, 2010 net sales of the Filtration segment increased 23.2% compared to the previous year. Sales in the Label and Processing area increased 21% compared to 2009. Sales in the building and energy segment rose 20.2% compared to the previous year. The Food and Medical business area’s sales increased 14.4% and new Home and Personal net sales increased 9.7% compared to 2009.
Jan Lång, president and CEO said, “Last year, our financial result development took a positive turn and cash flow continued strong. Our growth strategy in Asia progressed very well with a growth of almost 50% and in addition, we completed an acquisition in the Filtration business and established a joint venture in China in the Food and Medical business. Our strengthened balance sheet gave us the opportunity to implement our strategy and develop our businesses. We started a significant change program with the aim of building a stronger and more harmonized company. We also streamlined our product portfolio through divestments.Last year was challenging for us in terms of higher raw materials costs but our organization succeeded well in the margin management by increasing selling prices.”