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Management Side
Ahlstrom's Restructuring Measures to Improve Profitability
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Helsinki, Finland, 03 January 2008 -- Ahlstrom has during the fourth quarter 2007 taken additional restructuring actions in various parts of the organization, reducing altogether 250 positions.

Combined with the previously announced restructuring measures, a total of four sites and nine manufacturing lines will be closed. Consequently, 650 positions will be lost. The total nonrecurring costs -- approximately EUR 45 million -- are booked in the fourth quarter result of 2007.

The main focus area of the restructuring measures is the European operations of the Specialty Papers segment, including the closure of three noncompetitive manufacturing lines during the first half of 2008, affecting 450 positions (i.e., the earlier announced plans to close the Ascoli and Chantraine plants and the Turin PM4 release base paper line).

In the FiberComposites segment, six manufacturing lines are closed and 200 positions reduced. The nonrecurring restructuring costs amount to approximately EUR 45 million, of which asset write-offs are EUR 9 million. The restructuring has a positive cash flow due to the release of working capital, and it is targeted to bring profit improvement of EUR 25 million annually.

"The systematic restructuring actions taken enable Ahlstrom to start the year 2008 with a more competitive cost structure and a leaner organization. The recent acquisitions and the ongoing investment projects in Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC countries) will make Ahlstrom well-positioned to succeed and grow in 2008 and beyond", comments Jukka Moisio, president & CEO .

Ahlstrom in brief

Ahlstrom is a global leader in the development, manufacture, and marketing of high performance fiber-based materials. Nonwovens and specialty papers, made by Ahlstrom, are used in a large variety of everyday products, such as filters, wipes, flooring, labels, and tapes. Based upon its unique fiber expertise and innovative approach, the company has a strong market position in several business areas in which it operates. Ahlstrom's 6500 employees serve customers via sales offices and production facilities in more than 20 countries on six continents. In 2006, Ahlstrom's net sales amounted to EUR 1.6 billion. Ahlstrom's share is listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange. The company website is www.ahlstrom.com.
 

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