Marco Levi, President & CEO: “January-March 2016 marked our tenth consecutive quarter of year-on-year improvement in profitability, with the majority of our businesses delivering higher margins. In addition to the tailwind we received from lower input costs, we have achieved this through better pricing, optimization of our product mix as well as lower cost structure.
In the Filtration & Performance segment, the Wallcover & Poster business delivered higher sales and margin with the Industrial Nonwovens unit making steady progress. In the Specialties segment, the Advanced Liquid Technologies, Tape, and Medical units all improved profitability. However, the subdued demand conditions in some of our markets, such as filtration as well as tape and medical products, were reflected in our overall net sales performance.
I’m also happy to say that we have delivered our first positive first-quarter operating cash flow in four years. The improving trend in our financial performance gives us confidence and we are on track to reach our target of over 8 percent adjusted operating profit margin by 2018. We are executing our redefined strategy announced at the beginning of the year, and our new operating model is gaining momentum and bringing us further cost savings.”
Outlook for 2016
Ahlstrom reiterates the outlook published on January 29, 2016. The company expects net sales from continuing operations in 2016 to be in the range of EUR 950-1,050 million. The adjusted operating profit from continuing operations is expected to be 4.2%-5.2% of net sales.
The outlook excludes the Building & Wind business unit, which has been reported as part of discontinued operations from the beginning of 2016. The adjusted operating profit excludes restructuring costs, impairment charges and capital gains or losses.
In the picture: Marco Levi, President & CEO of Ahlstrom