Ahlstrom-Munksjö Financial Statements Release 2020: STRONG RESULT IMPROVEMENT AND CASH FLOW
AHLSTROM-MUNKSJÖ OYJ FINANCIAL STATEMENTS RELEASE February 10, 2021 at 08:30 EET
This release is a summary of Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s Financial Statements Release 2020. The complete report is attached to this release as a pdf-file. It is also available at www.ahlstrom-munksjo.com.
HIGHLIGHTS DURING THE REPORTING PERIOD
- Strong improvement in comparable EBITDA and increased margin, all business areas improved
- Lower variable costs more than offset slightly lower selling prices, sales volumes increased
- Net sales impacted by an adverse currency effect
- Strong cash flow, and financial position further strengthened
- Broad-based demand recovery, limited impact from resurgence of global Covid-19 infections
- Very good Employee Engagement Index of 80 in employee survey
- Public tender offer launched in Q4/2020 and concluded in February 2021
Q4/2020 compared with Q4/2019
- Net sales decreased by 1.7% to EUR 689.2 million (701.3). At constant currency rates, net sales increased by 3.5% on higher volumes
- Comparable EBITDA improved to EUR 89.6 million (70.5), representing 13.0% (10.1) of net sales, supported by lower variable costs and higher volumes
- Operating result improved to EUR 43.7 million (16.0), supported by higher comparable EBITDA and lower items affecting comparability (IAC)
- Net result EUR 23.3 million (1.9)
- Earnings per share (basic) EUR 0.19 (0.01)
- Comparable EPS excluding depreciation and amortization arising from PPA EUR 0.31 (0.16).
- Net cash from operating activities increased to EUR 130.5 million (68.4), supported by the improved result and reduction in working capital
Q1–Q4/2020 compared with Q1–Q4/2019
- Net sales decreased by 8.0% to EUR 2,683.3 million (2,915.3). At constant currency rates, net sales decreased by 5.3% due to lower selling prices and a less favorable product mix.
- Comparable EBITDA increased to EUR 334.2 million (312.9), representing 12.5% (10.7) of net sales, supported by lower costs
- Operating result improved to EUR 176.2 million (103.2), supported by a capital gain of EUR 32.0 million from the sale of the fine art paper business and lower items affecting comparability (IAC)
- Net result EUR 94.5 million (32.8)
- Earnings per share (basic) EUR 0.78 (0.27)
- Comparable EPS excluding depreciation and amortization arising from PPA EUR 1.03 (0.84)
- Net cash from operating activities amounted to EUR 255.1 million (286.7)
|EUR million, or as indicated||2020||2019||2020||2020||2019|
|Comparable EBITDA margin, %||13.0||10.1||12.1||12.5||10.7|
|Comparable operating result||46.7||25.5||37.5||165.1||139.0|
|Earnings per share (basic), EUR||0.19||0.01||0.13||0.78||0.27|
|Comparable earnings per share (basic), EUR||0.23||0.08||0.16||0.70||0.50|
|Comparable EPS excl. depreciation and amortization arising from PPA, EUR *||0.31||0.16||0.24||1.03||0.84|
|Return on equity (ROE), rolling 12 months, %||7.9||2.9||6.2||7.9||2.9|
|Comparable ROE, rolling 12 months, %||7.1||5.2||5.6||7.1||5.2|
|Return on capital employed (ROCE), rolling 12 months, %||7.7||4.4||6.4||7.7||4.4|
|Comparable ROCE, rolling 12 months, %||7.2||5.9||6.2||7.2||5.9|
|Net cash from operating activities||130.5||68.4||104.3||255.1||286.7|
|Gearing ratio, %||62.1||71.8||68.9||62.1||71.8|
.*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.
In 2020, we were successful in improving our result and developing our business despite the challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Our quick response to the pandemic demonstrated our agility, teamwork and business mindset.
Customer activity improved gradually during the second half of the year as countries and markets adapted to the pandemic. The surge in the number of infections caused countries to reimpose restrictions, but they had no material impact on demand in the fourth quarter as they did earlier in the year.
I’m satisfied with our financial performance in the unpredictable market environment. Our profitability improvement was supported by lower costs, partly driven by our own measures. We also made good progress in innovation as sales generated from new products increased to 12%, nearing our long-term target of 15%.
The positive results of our customer and employee surveys signal that we are doing the right things. The customer survey results show that we have further reinforced our position as a global leader in fiber-based solutions. We scored particularly well in categories such as personal contact and technical service, as well as in innovation and sustainability. These are essential for strengthening our partnership with our customers. Likewise the 2020 employee survey results demonstrate very good employee engagement.
On September 24, 2020 a consortium consisting of Ahlström Capital, funds managed or advised by Bain Capital as well as Viknum and Belgrano Inversiones announced a public recommended cash tender offer for all shares in Ahlstrom-Munksjö. On February 9, 2021, it was announced that the consortium’s holdings will exceed 90% and that it intends to initiate compulsory redemption proceedings and apply for the shares to be delisted.
I consider the offer evidence of the good and hard work we have done, and our success in creating an attractive business. Thanks to our joint efforts in 2020, our business is doing well. I am confident that by continuing to work together as one team, we can further accelerate our value creation and create long-term success.
OUTLOOK FOR Q1/2021
Ahlstrom-Munksjö expects demand for its products to remain at the current level.
PROPOSAL FOR THE DISTRIBUTION OF PROFIT
The distributable funds on the balance sheet of Ahlstrom-Munksjö Oyj as of December 31, 2020 amounted to EUR 901,057,524.65. The Board of Directors’ dividend proposal to the Annual General Meeting will be decided after the Extraordinary General Meeting to be held on February 19, 2021.
As Ahlstrom-Munksjö manages a broad portfolio of businesses and serves a wide range of end uses globally, it is unlikely to be significantly affected at a group level by individual business related factors. However, slowing global economic growth and uncertain financial market conditions could have a materially adverse effect on the Group’s financial results, operations and financial position.
Recently, the coronavirus pandemic has been the key driver of increased uncertainty globally from an economic and social perspective. The risk of a broader economic downturn is less tangible. However, if it materializes, it may weaken demand for a wide range of Ahlstrom-Munksjö products for a longer period. The full impact of the pandemic cannot be foreseen at this stage. It will depend on both the duration and severity of the pandemic, and the measures taken to contain it. The resurgence in the number of infections during the fall of 2020 has caused countries to reimpose temporary and regional restrictions.
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted consumers’ lives across the world. The length of the pandemic will probably be a key determinant for if and how our way of life will permanently change and affect companies’ future business opportunities. Globally, the rollout of coronavirus vaccinations has started, which is expected to contain the spread.
Ahlstrom-Munksjö has assessed carrying amounts of assets and liabilities, such as goodwill and other intangible, tangible assets, inventories, deferred taxes, trade receivables and pension plans and re-assessed the need of impairment. Based on the assessments, the consequences of the pandemic has currently no impact on asset valuations.
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 and energy, financial risks, as well as other business factors including developments in global politics, regulations and the financial markets. The company’s financial performance may be impacted by the timing of possible raw material price increases and its ability to raise selling prices. On-going trade disputes pose a threat to the global economy, which may have an effect on Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s markets.
Operational risks such as personnel absences, supply of key raw materials and deliveries to customers have also increased due to the pandemic. These risks have been mitigated by a rapid and coordinated response, and the implementation of the Ahlstrom-Munksjö Covid-19 Safety Protocol. However, if the pandemic continues for a longer period, the exposure to the operational risks may increase.
The company’s key financial risks include interest rate and currency, liquidity and credit risks. To mitigate short-term risks, methods such as hedging and credit insurance are used. Additional credit risk assessment has been implemented for customer receivables to evaluate the potential implications of the coronavirus pandemic. Based on the assessment, the company has not identified any significant increase in the amount of bad debt, and there has currently not been any significant change in payment delays related to Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s customer receivables. However, if the pandemic continues for a longer period, the exposure to the credit risk, such as delayed payments from the customers, may increase.
The pandemic has increased the risk of financiers becoming more cautious and reducing banks’ willingness to provide financing. This may have an impact on refinancing and increase financing costs. Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s liquidity continues to be good, and during the second quarter, the company has signed additional financing facilities to further strengthen its liquidity position. There are no major short-term refinancing needs.
The Group is exposed 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 regularly assesses the best structure for its platform of businesses and systematically evaluates M&A opportunities. In potential business combinations, substantial integration work is needed to realize expected synergies.
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 the available current information, no significant impact on the financial position of the company is expected.
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, Group Communications and Investor Relations, tel. + 358 10 888 4994
Juho Erkheikki, Investor Relations Manager, tel. +358 10 888 4731
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 everyday life. Our offering includes filter materials, release liners, food and beverage processing materials, decor papers, abrasive and tape backings, electrotechnical paper, glass fiber materials, medical fiber materials, diagnostics and energy storage solutions, as well as a range of specialty papers for industrial and consumer end-uses. Our annual net sales is about EUR 2.7 billion and we employ some 7,800 people. Read more at www.ahlstrom-munksjo.com