The company reports overall stable demand at a good level across most markets.
The recent agreement to acquire the U.S.-based specialty paper producer Expera with net sales of $731 million will significantly expand presence in North America, for an enterprise value of $615 million, the company says. Ahlstrom-Munksjö also made an investment to reinforce its market position in biodegradable and compostable tea bag, coffee and meat casing materials in the Beverage & Casing business. Further, the company recently announced an investment to further grow its Filtration business through capacity expansion in high-end filtration materials. Finally, an agreement to acquire the Caieiras specialty paper mill in Brazil will strengthen its presence in the region.
Hans Sohlström, president and CEO, comments: “In the second quarter, our performance in most of the businesses remained good. I am especially pleased that we, in the environment of significant raw material cost escalation, succeeded with our commercial strategy and implemented price increases as planned. We have focused on customer relationships that are service- and quality oriented with profitable orders of highly specialized and customized products. Thanks to our successful commercial strategy, we were able to compensate for the impacts of sharply increased raw material costs. Our gross margin for products improved compared to the previous quarter, reaching the same level as in the last year.”