The corona pandemic has increased consumption of nonwovens in all markets of nonwovens producer Suominen Corp., Helsinki/Finland. 2021 started well with increased sales by 4.5% to € 115.3 million in 1st quarter 2021 (Q1/2021). Comparable EBITDA was record high and amounted to € 18.5 million (Q1/20220: € 11.3 million). This was driven by the high sales volumes, supported by improved production and raw material efficiency and sales mix. As expected, raw material price inflation sped up significantly during Q1/2021, but the result impact will be fully visible in the coming months.
For 2021 the demand is expected to continue on a high level. In the long term, Covid-19 may lead to a sustained increase in the use of nonwovens for cleaning and disinfection products. However, the risks related to the pandemic, such as possible shortages of raw materials, issues linked to logistics as well as potential closures of customers’ or the plants due to virus infections or authority decisions remain relevant.
The 3 investment projects supporting the strategy by strengthening the capabilities in sustainable products and increasing the capacity that were announced last year, 2 in Italy and one in the USA, are proceeding as planned and will be finalized during the 2nd half of 2021.
During Q1/2021, Suominen sold the minority share of Amerplast to Hanmere Polythene Ltd., a portfolio company of the UK private equity group Chiltern Capital. This impacted the net financial expenses positively by € 3.7 million and cash flow by € 11.6 million. The transaction will not have a material effect on Suominen’s result going forward.