Suominen has two business areas, Americas and Europe. Net sales of the Americas business area were €73.2 million ($79.4 million) and net sales of the Europe business area were €37.1 million ($40.2 million).
“Suominen’s operating profit nearly doubled to EUR 5.7 million (3.0) in the first quarter of 2020, mainly due to higher sales volumes, improved production efficiency, better raw material efficiency, and favorable raw material prices,” says Petri Helsky, president & CEO. “The growth investment project concluded last year at our plant in Green Bay, WI, USA, was one of the factors enabling higher output. Currencies had a negative impact of EUR 0.6 million.
“The COVID-19 pandemic increased sales volumes in all our markets towards the end of the quarter and in the short term the higher demand is expected to continue. However in the second half of the year this COVID-19 caused demand surge may already have calmed down. In the longer term the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to continued increased demand for nonwovens for cleaning and disinfection applications. The main risks posed by the pandemic for Suominen are possible shortages of raw materials, potential closures of customers’ or our own plants due to virus infections or authority decisions, and issues linked to logistics. So far we have been able to run our operations with limited impacts. This has been enabled by implementing, at a very early stage, strict safety procedures to minimize the risk of infection at workplace. Also the authorities have classified our nonwovens production as essential in fighting the pandemic in the jurisdictions where other business activities have been shut down. Regarding the raw material risks, we continuously monitor our raw material supply closely and we have identified risk mitigation measures such as utilization of supplementary raw material sources.”