Ahlstrom-Munksjö half-year report January-June 2019: COMPARABLE EBITDA IMPROVED


This release is a summary of Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s’ half-year financial report January-June 2019. The complete report is attached to this release as a pdf-file. It is also available at www.ahlstrom-munksjo.com.


  •  Q2/2019 comparable EBITDA grew by 25% to EUR 83.8 million (actual EUR 67.1 million in Q2/2018)
  •  Profitability continued to improve, fueled by further increase in gross margin for products
  •  Cash flow improved to EUR 63.1 million (EUR 27.5 million)
  •  The market environment remained uncertain with fluctuating demand
  •  New products were launched including a new generation of release materials to optimize RFID inlay lamination
  •  Sustainability work awarded with third consecutive EcoVadis Gold rating, putting Ahlstrom-Munksjö in the top 1% of suppliers assessed

Q2/2019 VS Q2/2018 pro forma

  •  Net sales EUR 745.3 million (EUR 766.0 million), a decrease of 2.7%.
  •  Comparable EBITDA EUR 83.8 million (EUR 82.8 million), representing 11.2% (10.8%) of net sales
  •  Gross margin for products continued to improve, while profitability was impacted by lower volumes
  •  Net profit EUR 14.8 million (EUR 23.4 million), impacted by higher depreciation and amortization as well as net financial items
  •  Earnings per share EUR 0.13 (EUR 0.20)
  •  Comparable EPS excluding depreciation and amortization arising from PPA EUR 0.25 (EUR 0.32)

1-6/2019 VS 1-6/2018 pro forma

  •  Net sales EUR 1,504.0 million (EUR 1,516.9 million)
  •  Comparable EBITDA EUR 158.8 million (EUR 169.1 million), representing 10.6% (11.1%) of net sales
  •  Gross margin for products continued to improve, while profitability was impacted by lower volumes
  •  Net profit EUR 18.9 million (EUR 47.8 million), significantly impacted by items affecting comparability, higher depreciation and amortization as well as net financial items
  •  Earnings per share EUR 0.16 (EUR 0.41)
  •  Comparable EPS excluding depreciation and amortization arising from PPA EUR 0.46 (EUR 0.64)

Key figures

Actual (IFRS) key figures,
EUR million, or as indicated
Q2/2019 Q2/2018 Q1/2019 1-6/2019 1-6/2018 2018
Net sales 745.3 587.8 758.7 1,504.0 1,160.2 2,438.0
Comparable EBITDA 83.8 67.1 75.0 158.8 133.8 277.7
Comparable EBITDA margin, % 11.2 11.4 9.9 10.6 11.5 11.4
Items affecting comparability in EBITDA -5.7 -6.8 -14.8 -20.5 -11.8 -55.1
EBITDA 78.1 60.4 60.2 138.3 122.0 222.6
Comparable operating result excl. depreciation and amortization arising from PPA * 53.8 45.2 45.2 99.0 89.7 186.1
Comparable operating result 40.7 37.5 32.6 73.3 74.5 151.4
Comparable operating result margin, % 5.5 6.4 4.3 4.9 6.4 6.2
Items affecting comparability in operating result -5.7 -6.8 -14.8 -20.5 -11.8 -62.7
Operating result 35.0 30.7 17.8 52.9 62.7 88.7
Net profit 14.8 22.1 4.1 18.9 43.3 42.9
Earnings per share (basic), EUR 0.13 0.22 0.03 0.16 0.44 0.43
Comparable EPS excl. depreciation and amortization arising from PPA, EUR * 0.25 0.34 0.21 0.46 0.65 1.18
Cash generated from operating activities 63.1 27.5 29.9 92.9 32.7 91.6
Depreciation, amortization and impairment 43.1 29.6 42.4 85.5 59.3 133.9
Capital expenditure 38.7 31.4 35.5 74.2 57.1 160.1
Net debt 1,052.8 422.2 1,052.0 1,052.8 422.2 971.3
Gearing ratio, % 93.5 41.6 93.6 93.5 41.6 83.6

Pro forma key figures,
EUR million, or as indicated
Actual (IFRS)
Pro forma Q2/2018 Actual (IFRS)
Actual (IFRS)
Pro forma
Pro forma 2018
Net sales 745.3 766.0 758.7 1,504.0 1,516.9 2,996.9
Comparable EBITDA 83.8 82.8 75.0 158.8 169.1 329.9
Comparable EBITDA margin, % 11.2 10.8 9.9 10.6 11.1 11.0
Items affecting comparability in EBITDA -5.7 -6.3 -14.8 -20.5 -11.2 -39.6
EBITDA 78.1 76.5 60.2 138.3 157.9 290.3
Comparable operating result excl. depreciation and amortization arising from PPA * 53.8 56.4 45.2 99.0 116.4 225.5
Comparable operating result 40.7 44.2 32.6 73.3 92.1 176.6
Comparable operating result margin, % 5.5 5.8 4.3 4.9 6.1 5.9
Items affecting comparability in operating result -5.7 -6.3 -14.8 -20.5 -11.2 -47.3
Operating result 35.0 37.9 17.8 52.9 80.9 129.4
Net profit 14.8 23.4 4.1 18.9 47.8 63.2
Earnings per share (basic), EUR 0.13 0.20 0.03 0.16 0.41 0.54
Comparable EPS excl. depreciation and amortization arising from PPA, EUR * 0.25 0.32 0.21 0.46 0.64 1.15
Depreciation, amortization and impairment 43.1 38.6 42.4 85.5 77.0 161.0
Capital expenditure 38.7 36.8 35.5 74.2 65.8 176.3

*Depreciation and amortization arising from PPA (purchase price allocation) comprise depreciation and amortization charges from fair value adjustments relating to the business combinations starting from 2013.                                                             

Ahlstrom-Munksjö has adopted the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) guidelines on Alternative Performance Measures (APMs) to reflect the underlying business performance and improve comparability. These measures should, however, not be considered as a substitute for measures of performance in accordance with IFRS. Alternative performance measures are derived from performance measures reported in accordance with IFRS by adding or deducting items affecting comparability (IAC), or purchase price allocation (PPA,) and they are called “comparable”. More details on APMs and key figures are available in the appendix 2.


Our financial performance improved in the second quarter of 2019. We succeeded with our commercial strategy that focuses on product differentiation, service and quality. Our gross margin for products continued to improve and reached a record. This will further underpin profitability once volumes improve.

I am pleased that we also managed to lower our fixed costs as this partially offset the impact of continued low delivery volumes. Comparable EBITDA improved to EUR 84 million in the second quarter compared to EUR 83 million in the previous year and EUR 75 million in the first quarter of 2019. Our EBITDA margin also improved.

Cash flow from operating activities doubled following our increased focus and active working capital management. Net debt remained nearly unchanged although we paid half of the annual dividend.

Uncertain Market environment

The market environment remained uncertain as demand continued to fluctuate. Excluding the machine closure in Stenay, France, our deliveries were 5% lower than in the previous year and burdened clearly our profitability. As a supplier of advanced fiber-based solutions we focus on customer relatioships that are aligned with our strategy.

Substantial steps driving strategic progress

In the second quarter, we completed the bailing line modernization at the Aspa pulp plant in Sweden. The ramp-up of the line has proceeded well, enabling us to improve safety and production efficiency. It also gives us access to new customers.

We have continued to introduce new value-added products including Optilam™, which is a new generation of release materials to optimize RFID inlay lamination for our customers in the electronics industry. In addition, our grease wrapping papers received the OK compost HOME and OK compost INDUSTRIAL certifications from TÜV® Austria, confirming the compostability of those products for our customers.

As a result of our good performance within environmental impact, labor practices, fair business practices and sustainable procurement, our work was awarded with third consecutive EcoVadis Gold rating. This gives us confidence that we are on the right track towards our strategic targets and allows us to communicate an independent view on our performance.

I have confidence in the future despite the uncertain market environment. We have leading market positions and a balanced exposure to a broad range of end-uses. This provides us stability and opportunities for the future.  The integration of the recent acquisitions proceeds as planned and we focus on delivering on the promised synergies as well as cash flow.


Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s pro forma comparable EBITDA reached EUR 330 million in 2018. At the beginning of 2019, customers reacted to signs of slowing economic growth. Demand has slowed somewhat in certain product segments and customers have reduced inventories. The overall market environment remains uncertain and demand continues to fluctuate. Ahlstrom-Munksjö will continue its efforts to improve performance and competitiveness. The gross margin for products continued to increase in the first half of 2019 and the targeted synergy benefits and cost reduction measures are expected to contribute positively to earnings for the full year.


Ahlstrom-Munksjö is exposed to changing market conditions and uncertainty caused by both macroeconomic and industry related events and is exposed to risks that may arise from its operations, changes in the business environment, developments in the global economy or potential changes in the legislative framework. The materialization of such risks could have a material adverse effect on the company’s operations, earnings and financial position.

The company’s significant risks and uncertainty factors mainly consist of developments in demand for and prices of sold products, the cost and availability of significant raw materials, financial risks, as well as other business factors including developments in the financial markets. The company’s financial performance may be impacted by the timing of possible raw material price rises and its ability to raise selling pricesOn-going trade disputes and the outcome of the Brexit increases uncertainty in the global economic outlook and this may have an effect on Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s markets.

Ahlstrom-Munksjö has recently acquired Expera and Caieiras and it may not be able to realize some or any of the anticipated benefits from those acquisitions. In addition, the company may not be able to successfully integrate the acquired operations into its existing businesses.

The company’s key financial risks include interest rate and currency risks, liquidity risk and credit risk. The Group has exposure to tax risks due to potential changes in tax laws or regulations or their application, or as a result of on-going or future tax audits or claims.

The company has operations in many countries, and sometimes disputes cannot be avoided in daily operations. The company is sometimes involved in legal actions, disputes, claims for damages and other procedures. The result of these cannot be predicted, but taking into account all available information to date, the impact is not expected to have a significant impact on the financial position of the company.

More information about risks and uncertainty factors related to Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s business and the company’s risk management is available at www.ahlstrom-munksjo.com.

Additional information

Hans Sohlström, President and CEO, tel. +358 10 888 2520
Sakari Ahdekivi, Deputy CEO and CFO, tel. +358 10 888 4760
Johan Lindh, Vice President, Communications and Investor Relations, + 358 10 888 4994
Juho Erkheikki, Investor Relations Manager, tel. +358 10 888 4731

Webcast and conference call

A combined news conference, call and live webcast will be arranged on the publishing day, July 30, 2019, at 1:30 p.m. EET at Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s head office in Helsinki (Alvar Aallon katu 3 C). The report will be presented in English by President and CEO Hans Sohlström and Deputy CEO and CFO Sakari Ahdekivi.

Webcast and conference call information 

The combined webcast and teleconference can be viewed at:

Finland: +358 (0)9 7479 0360
Sweden: +46 (0)8 5033 6573
UK: +44 (0)330 336 9104

Conference ID: 789558

To join the conference call, participants are requested to dial one of the numbers above 5-10 minutes prior to the start of the event. An on-demand version of the conference call will be available on Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s website later the same day. By dialing in to the conference call, the participant agrees that personal information such as name and company name will be collected. The conference call will be recorded.

Ahlstrom-Munksjö in brief

Ahlstrom-Munksjö is a global leader in fiber-based materials, supplying innovative and sustainable solutions to its customers. Our mission is to expand the role of fiber-based solutions for sustainable every day life. Our offering include filter materials, release liners, food and beverage processing materials, decor papers, abrasive and tape backings, electrotechnical paper, glass fiber materials, medical fiber materials and solutions for diagnostics as well as a range of specialty papers for industrial and consumer end-uses. Our annual net sales is about EUR 3 billion and we employ some 8,000 people. The Ahlstrom-Munksjö share is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki and Stockholm.  

Read more at www.ahlstrom-munksjo.com.

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