In its previous interim report, on April 26 2017, Suominen expected that for the full year 2017, its net sales will improve from year 2016. Also the comparable operating profit was estimated to improve from year 2016, provided that the new production line at the Bethune plant will be started up as planned. Now Suominen revises its estimate regarding the operating profit development and expects that for the full year 2017, its net sales will improve from year 2016 but its comparable operating profit will fall short of the 2016 level. In 2016, Suominen’s net sales amounted to €416.9 million ($480.6 million) and comparable operating profit to €25.6 million ($29.5 million).
Suominen’s new production line at the Bethune, SC, U.S. plant has been started up and the first invoiced products were delivered to customers during the second quarter. However, the start-up progress has been slower than anticipated, and Suominen estimates the new line will generate less sales in 2017 than it had previously forecasted. Lower-than-forecasted net sales combined with the line’s cost level that reflects normal operational status will have a negative impact on the company’s operating profit in 2017.
Another factor decreasing Suominen’s operating profit in full year 2017 is the sales mix. In the first half of 2017, the share of products with high value add in Suominen’s net sales decreased from the comparison period. When the new line is fully in production mode it will contribute to a favorable change of the sales mix.
Suominen’s sales have consistently been on a higher level during 2017 as compared to 2016. This trend will continue the rest of the year, with the addition of some of the new capacity. Moreover, the business environment of the second half of 2017 seems more encouraging than that of the first half of the year. Hence, Suominen’s estimate on net sales growth in 2017 remains unchanged. The company expects its net sales to improve from 2016 level.