Ahlstrom continues profit improvement program to address its underperforming units

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Source: Ahlstrom Corporation

Ahlstrom Corporation, a global high-performance materials company, continues its profit improvement program to address underperforming businesses. Further measures will be taken in the Building and Energy business area, affecting a total of 81 people in Bishopville and Mikkeli.

Ahlstrom has decided to close its Bishopville plant in the U.S. The plant, which manufactures glassfiber specialty reinforcements, has suffered from weakening demand in the wind energy business in North America. As a result, a total of 74 employees will be affected starting from January 2012.

The co-operation negotiations, started in September at the Mikkeli plant in Finland, will lead to a reduction of 7 employees, starting from December 2011. The production of glassfiber reinforcements at the site will continue as before.

The measures in Bishopville and Mikkeli are part of the profit improvement program announced on October 18, 2011. The program is expected to improve annual operating profit by approximately EUR 15 million starting from 2012 and may affect about 400 employees. The overall impact of the non-recurring items of the program is cash neutral.

As part of the program, the company has to date announced profit improvement measures impacting a total of 305 employees in Karhula, Osnabrück, Turin, Bishopville and Mikkeli.

The company has to date booked a non-recurring cost of appr. EUR 32 million relating to the program: EUR 25 million in the  third-quarter 2011 results and for the decisions announced today, a non-recurring cost of appr. EUR 7 million in the fourth-quarter 2011 financial results.

Ahlstrom will make every effort in supporting employees affected by the changes with various measures.

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, wallcovers, flooring, labels and food packaging. We have a leading market position in the businesses in which we operate. Our 5,700 employees serve customers in 26 countries on six continents. In 2010, Ahlstrom's net sales amounted to EUR 1.9 billion. The company's share is quoted on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. More information available at www.ahlstrom.com.

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