President & CEO’s review of the year 2023

The year 2023 was still challenging in terms of profitability. Throughout the year, we systematically implemented various improvement measures, and in the second half of the year, they gradually began to contribute to the results.

President & CEO Tommi Björnman

Our comparable EBITDA increased slightly from the previous year and was EUR 15.8 million. After the first half of the year, our commercial and operational excellence improvements started to contribute, and we were able to improve our sales margins. Our net sales in 2023 were EUR 450.9 million.

During the first half of the year, we closed production at our Mozzate site in Italy. The decision was made to improve the competitiveness of our European business.

We will continue to take determined actions to improve our financial and operational efficiency in the future.

Sustainability and innovation at the core of everything we do

The cornerstones of our strategy are sustainability and innovations, and we continuously develop our offerings and operations accordingly.

Sustainability is important also to our customers and other stakeholders. The wipes nonwovens market is rapidly shifting towards more sustainable alternatives. In line with our strategy, we have set targets to increase the sales of sustainable products and to continuously develop new environmentally friendly nonwovens to enable our customers to be more sustainable. In 2023, we increased the sales of sustainable products by 79%, exceeding our target of 50% increase compared to the base year 2019. Our target is also to launch over ten sustainable products annually, and in 2023, we launched 12 such products.

During the year, we completed an investment project in Nakkila. With this investment, we respond to the increased demand for environmentally friendly products and, at the same time, improve our operational performance in terms of safety, quality, and productivity.

Our strong ability to innovate and respond to market needs is reflected in the share of new products in our net sales, which exceeded 35%. By new products, we mean products launched in the last three years. One excellent example is HYDRASPUN® Circula, the first nonwoven made of recycled materials that is suitable for producing moist toilet tissue. The product won EDANA’s INDEX™23 Award as a model example of how sustainability and innovation drive the entire nonwovens industry forward.

Occupational safety is a priority for us, and our goal is naturally zero accidents. In 2023, we launched a safety campaign to remind our employees of the importance of safety every day and to encourage each employee to stop and think before acting.

Strengthening employee engagement is another key people-related target for us. In 2023, we conducted fourth consecutive global employee engagement survey. The response rate was good, and the results help us identify factors that are positively affecting employee engagement as well as areas where we still have opportunities for improvement.

In 2023, we completed the EcoVadis sustainability assessment for the second time and received a silver-level rating. We improved our performance by five points, placing us in the top 5% of companies in the manufacture of other textiles industry rated by EcoVadis.

Towards the future

Our new organizational model came into effect at the beginning of 2024. The new model enhances collaboration between commercial teams and production. Business areas that are now, in the new model, responsible for both sales and production, enable us to be even more efficient, focused, and agile in our efforts to improve profitability and to serve our customers even better.

Looking ahead, we see some positive signals from both the markets and our customers. I am confident that the ongoing improvement measures and changes will help us on our journey towards profitable growth.

I want to thank our shareholders, customers, and partners for their productive collaboration. I especially want to thank our employees for their commitment and contribution. As we continue to move forward together with determination, we can trust that we will achieve our goals.

Tommi Björnman
President & CEO