'Good' Huhtamaki results hit by rising raw material prices

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Raw material prices, Price, Finland, European union, Huhtamaki

Huhtamaki has posted improved year-on-year figures for the first half of 2010 as it predicted better returns in H2 despite continued uncertainties in the market.

The Finnish company reported a 3 per cent increase in sales to €970m compared to the same period in 2009 and said EBIT had risen from €64m to €73m – thanks to improved currency conditions, along with “improved price and product mix management”.

But the firm admitted that all its business segments had been hit by increasing raw material prices in what it described as a “challenging market environment”.

Rigid plastic review

Huhtamaki confirmed that its review of its rigid plastic division was ongoing. Assets in South Africa and Australia had already been off-loaded, while the “carve up process”​ for Europe was completed last quarter. Consequently, units in Finland, France, Germany, Lithuania, Poland and Turkey are currently classified as “assets held for sale”,​ said the company.

Net sales and EBIT in flexible packaging improved to €257m and €17m respectively, thanks to its Asian operations. European growth slowed in Q2, said the company. North America was an important driver in sales growth in the films division – particularly in the second quarter.

Outlook

"General economic and market conditions for the second half of 2010 remain uncertain,”​ said a Huhtamaki statement. “However, based on the good first half year result, it is expected that full year 2010 EPS will be higher than in 2009”

The firm said it was in a good financial position to tackle “growth opportunities in stronghold segments when they arise”. ​It said capital expenditure would be higher than 2009 but capped below €100m.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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