November 19, 2012 at 02:50 AM EST
Ahlstrom publishes pro forma figures and initiates rightsizing program

Ahlstrom Corporation STOCK EXCHANGE RELEASE November 19, 2012 at 9.50

Not to be distributed in or into Australia, Canada, the Hong Kong special administrative region of the People`s Republic of China, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa or the United States.

Ahlstrom, a global leader in high performance fiber-based materials, publishes today pro forma financial information for 2011 and January-September 2012 to illustrate the financial impact of the planned combination of Ahlstrom`s Label and Processing business and Munksjö AB (the "Transaction") on Ahlstrom`s continuing operations. Ahlstrom is also seeking to find ways to improve its cost structure and adjust its operations to reflect the future size, scope and cost structure of the company following the planned transaction with Munksjö.

During the past years, Ahlstrom has systematically executed its strategy in order to focus its operations in areas that offer the most attractive growth opportunities. The company has chosen to focus on advanced technologies and products that protect people, purify air and liquids, and provide surface and structure to its customers` products. In addition to reinforcing Ahlstrom`s leadership in filtration, the company aims to grow in high performance fiber-based materials for building, food and beverages packaging and medical applications.

The combination of the Label and Processing business area with Munksjö AB through two partial demergers is the latest and most significant step in the process of refocusing Ahlstrom. The Transaction enables the company to focus exclusively on its value-added business areas: Building and Energy, Filtration and Food and Medical. The terms and conditions of the proposed transaction were published in a separate stock exchange release on August 28, 2012.

The demergers of the Label and Processing businesses are subject to approvals by the Extraordinary General Meeting to be held on November 27, 2012. Following the approvals, the business area will be reported as part of discontinued operations and consequently Ahlstrom will publish a new outlook for net sales and operating profit excluding non-recurring items immediately after the Extraordinary General Meeting.

"By refocusing the company we will be better positioned and more agile in serving our customers globally. The organizational change we announced recently simplifies our structure, allowing a quicker response to customer needs. We believe that our tighter strategic focus and ability to move fast will contribute to our success also in a market environment characterized by increased demand volatility", said Jan Lång, President and CEO, Ahlstrom.

Rightsizing program to be started

Following the closing of the planned Label and Processing transaction, Ahlstrom intends to rightsize the company`s cost base to reflect the new size and scope of the company, excluding the Label and Processing operations. The aim is to make the company`s cost base leaner while maintaining sufficient resources globally, for example in product development and customer-facing teams. The company targets to achieve EUR 15 million in cost savings in addition to the costs that will be transferred to Munksjö within one year of the closing date of the Transaction.  

The cost savings will be derived from rightsizing the activities and the common cost base of the services worldwide. More details on the cost improvement program will be announced later.

The enclosed pro forma key figures illustrate the continuing operations of Ahlstrom. Label and Processing is reported separately as part of discontinued operations. Full pro forma financial information is enclosed as a PDF attachment.

KEY FIGURES Ahlstrom Ahlstrom
  Ahlstrom pro forma Ahlstrom pro forma
  Q1-Q4 Q1-Q4 Q1-Q3 Q1-Q3
2011 2011 2012 2012
     
Continuing operations     
Net sales, EUR million 1,607.2 1,020.9 1,210.7 776.1
Operating profit, EUR million 20.1 -1.9 33.9 13.7
Operating profit excluding non-recurring items, EUR million 49.7 23.9 39.8 18.0
Operating profit excl. NRI,
% of net sales
3.1 2.3 3.3 2.3
     
Balance sheet key figures    Actual Continuing operations
Interest-bearing net liabilities, EUR million - - 279.8 192.6
Equity ratio, % - - 40.8 46.0
Gearing ratio, % - - 50.4 38.4
Capital employed at the end of the period, EUR million - - 884.3 782.6

2011 continuing operations excluding Home and Personal business area.
Pro forma 2011 continuing operations excluding Home and Personal and Label and Processing
business areas.
Unaudited pro forma information illustrates the financial impact of the demergers of Label and Processing businesses in Europe and Brazil to Ahlstrom`s consolidated income statement as if the Transaction had been completed on January 1, 2011. Unaudited pro forma information addresses a hypothetical situation and therefore does not represent Ahlstrom`s actual financial position nor results.
Operating profit excluding non-recurring items for 2011 is a non-IFRS measure. Non-recurring items consist of exceptional charges, such as costs relating to restructuring activities, with no continuing impact on Ahlstrom.
The above pro forma information does not include any potential rightsizing measures after the Transaction.

 

For more information, please contact:

Seppo Parvi
CFO
Tel. +358 10 888 4768

Liisa Nyyssönen
Vice President, Communications
Tel. +358 10 888 4757

Ahlstrom in brief
Ahlstrom is a high performance materials company, partnering with leading businesses around the world to help them stay ahead. Our products are used in a large variety of everyday applications, such as filters, medical gowns and drapes, wallcoverings, flooring, labels and food packaging. We have a leading market position in the businesses in which we operate. Our 5,200 employees serve customers in 28 countries on six continents. In 2011, Ahlstrom`s net sales amounted to EUR 1.6 billion. The company`s share is quoted on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. More information is available at www.ahlstrom.com.

This document may not be distributed in or into Australia, Canada, the Hong Kong special administrative region of the People`s Republic of China, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa or the United States. The information contained herein shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy the securities referred to herein in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration, exemption from registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.

This document is not an offer for sale of securities in the United States. Securities may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Ahlstrom Corporation, Munksjö AB and Munksjö Corporation have not registered, and do not intend to register, any offering of the Munksjö shares in the United States. There will be no public offering of the Munksjö shares in the United States.

This document is only being distributed to and is only directed at (i) persons who are outside the United Kingdom or (ii) to investment professionals falling within Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 (the "Order") or (iii) high net worth companies, and other persons to whom it may lawfully be communicated, falling within Article 49(2)(a) to (d) of the Order or (iv) persons who are members or creditors of the company to which this communication relates, falling within article 43(2) of the Order (all such persons in (i), (ii) (iii) and (iv) above together being referred to as "relevant persons"). Any investment activity to which this document relates will be only available to and will be engaged in only with, relevant persons. Any person who is not a relevant person should not act or rely on this document or any of its contents.




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(i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and other applicable laws; and
(ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the
information contained therein.

Source: Ahlstrom Oyj via Thomson Reuters ONE

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