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Ahlstrom unveils its financial performance

 Thursday, February 29, 2024

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Ahlstrom unveils its financial performance

Ahlstrom experienced a successful 2023 with the notable progress that the company has experienced. The company led a transformation journey towards becoming the Preferred Sustainable Specialty Materials Company. Standing against various market challenges, the company continues to deliver its popular innovations. Its performance during the year demonstrated the resilience and specialty nature of the Ahlstrom portfolio, as well as the passion and commitment of its team.

Structurally improved profitability

The company is pleased that its comparable EBITDA has reached a level almost as robust as the previous year’s, despite a noticeable volume lag. Furthermore, it has successfully elevated the comparable EBITDA margin to a record level, showcasing our pricing power and agility.

The margin on variable costs per ton has consistently improved throughout our transformation journey, driven primarily by the effective execution of our commercial and operational excellence initiatives. This positive trend, combined with timely and targeted cost reduction measures, allowed us to nearly compensate for the negative impact of lower volumes during the year. Factors such as inflation, interest rates, and a deteriorating geopolitical situation contributed to this cautious landscape.

As customer activity gradually recovers, Ahlstrom finds itself well positioned to capitalise on emerging opportunities. Its structurally improved profitability enables us to deliver solid earnings growth and robust cash flow.

A more innovative and customer-centric Ahlstrom

Innovation lies at the core of Ahlstrom and its long-term value creation, driving our efforts to create positive change for people and the planet. In 2023, the company built the innovation trajectory set in 2022, strengthening its product development and fostering a culture of co-innovation. It has developed focused innovation platforms that help us address the fundamental market trends that will further shape Ahlstrom’s future portfolio with an emphasis on solutions that are safe and sustainable by design.

During the year, Ahlstrom launched several new and improved products that support our customers’ business and ambitions. The company maintained a close contact with its customers while remaining ot the forefront of sustainable solutions, driving positive change.

Stronger and more sustainable business portfolio

During the year, Ahlstrom remained steadfast in fortifying its’s business portfolio and ensuring its resilience for the future. Noteworthy initiatives include the divestment of the unprofitable Stenay mill in France and the commissioning of new production lines for sustainable growth.

Additionally, in line with Ahlstrom’s commitment to science-based emissions reductions, the company diligently progressed with our transition plan to combat climate change and our carbon dioxide emissions per ton of production decreased by 7%. The safety performance improved and its total recordable incident rate decreased by 13% to 1.0, which is the lowest in the history of our company. The employee engagement doubled during the year, which is a testament to the extremely high commitment of our teams. While several of these projects are firmly anchored in the company’s commitment to sustainability, they also provide Ahlstrom with substantial business opportunities and form the basis for our future growth.

Helen Mets, President and CEO optimistically said, ”I am very proud to work with our dedicated and passionate teams, who showed agility and performed exceptionally well in these rapidly changing market conditions. As customer activity gradually recovers, I have no doubt that Ahlstrom will continue to deliver solid earnings growth and drive sustainable value creation for all stakeholders. I am filled with confidence for what lies ahead as we continue to purify and protect, with every fiber for a sustainable world. ”

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