Net sales grew by 6.7% to €465.9 million from the second quarter in 2007. Excluding the currency impact, net sales grew by 12.3%. Operating profit excluding non-recurring items amounted to €19.5 million, an improvement of 5.6% from the first quarter of this year. Year-on-year, operating profit excluding nonrecurring items decreased by 7.3%. The main reasons for the year-on-year decrease were the losses of the La Gère plant, low volumes of the wipes business in Europe, as well as escalating raw material prices. Although La Gère improved its performance from the first quarter, it was still burdening the group result by €2.7 million.
For the first six months of 2008, group net sales amounted to €932.2 million, up 9.2% from €853.3 million during the same period of 2007. According to the company, most of the growth was generated by acquisitions, which increased net sales by 14.7%. The weak U.S. dollar decreased net sales by 5.4% and Ahlstrom's closing of production units decreased sales by 7.4%. Comparable net sales adjusted for the currency effect, acquisitions and closures grew by 7.3% from the same period last year.