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Ahlstrom reports sales decrease

December 2, 2011

Ahlstrom reported a decline in demand during the first nine months of 2011.

The result is sales decreased to €389.7 million compared to €413 million. At the same time, operating loss was €17.2 million.

The overall demand for several of the company's products continued to decline after the summer holiday season. The demand for specialty paper materials, such as flexible packaging and release liners, as well as transportation filtration materials fell in the review period. The market for specialty reinforcements used by the wind energy industry in Ahlstrom's main markets continued to decline.

Meanwhile, the demand for materials used by the beverage and food packaging industries, such as tea bags and baking papers, rose. The demand for wallcover materials and metalized labels continued to grow in the quarter, while demand for flooring materials was stable.

In October, Ahlstrom announced it would implement a profit improvement program to address its underperforming businesses. The program aims to generate an annual profit improvement of about €15 million and may affect about 400 employees. Additionally, Ahlstrom's divestment of its Home and Personal (wipes) business to Suominen, which was completed in October, will have a major impact on future results, allowing Ahlstrom to strengthen and expand its value added businesses.