The corona pandemic has increased the demand for nonwovens in all markets, but during the last 3 months, sales volumes of nonwovens producer Suominen Corp., Helsinki/Finland, decreased. Consequently, sales decreased by 1.5% to € 229 million in in the 1st half (H1) of 2021. Sales volumes were in line with H1/2020 while sales prices were higher. EBITDA improved to € 33.8 million (H1/2020: € 29.3 million). During the period April-June 2021 (Q1/2021) EBITDA declined by 15% to € 15.3 million. This was driven by higher raw material and logistics costs as expected, as well as the lower sales and production volumes. These were partially compensated by higher sales prices and improved raw material efficiency.
Towards the end of the 2nd quarter, especially the North American customers started to experience a sudden deceleration of demand, which in combination with extraordinary stockpiling throughout the entire supply chain has created an imbalance of inventories. This has also impacted Suominen’s orders.
The global market expectation is that in the long run the end-user demand for wipes will remain above pre-Covid levels. In Europe it can be seen that the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive (SUPD) will benefit Suominen as they are well placed to respond to the growing demand for innovative and sustainable nonwovens with the pioneering fiber-based nonwovens know-how and spunlace technology. Suominen is a leader in sustainable nonwovens and their target is to increase the share of sustainable products by 50% by 2025 compared to 2019.