Jan Åström, CEO, comments: “We had a good quarter, our first as Ahlstrom-Munksjö, and we achieved a solid operational result and profitability. We were able to capitalize on the strong demand for most of our products across many regions. In addition, the integration work is proceeding as planned and the identified synergy benefits are already becoming clearly visible as we reached an annual run rate of about €13 million ($15.1 million) by the end of the quarter.
“Our performance was driven by excellent results in the Filtration and Performance, and Industrial Solutions business areas. Our Decor business area experienced good demand, while enduring a sharp increase in input costs. We will continue to work on our pricing to mitigate this. In Specialties, almost all of our units improved and we will keep on working hard in integrating the former Graphics and Packaging unit into that business area. This will also help us to address the oversupplied market in coated one-sided papers.
“We have also raised our estimate for investments this year to address the several near-term growth opportunities in many of our segments, such as filtration, food packaging and abrasives. In addition, we refinanced our funding structure during the quarter to significantly lower our financing costs. Going forward, we are working with full steam ahead to achieve and even exceed the synergy targets, set at the time of the merger. I’m fully confident that we can deliver on our long-term targets by following our strategic direction based on profitable growth, customer value, accountability, flexibility and agility.”