CHAM, Switzerland , March 20, 2014 (Press Release) -
The 2013 business year has seen the Cham Paper Group reach further momentous milestones that form part of the company's comprehensive transformation programme, which began in 2011. The transfer of the company's key product groups from Cham to Italy has been successful, and the relevant processes have now been embedded. Both Italian sites have made substantial progress in terms of their profitability and competitiveness, and have come to form a stable industrial backbone for the Group. In Cham, CPG has been focussing on the development and manufacture of refined niche applications since Q2 of the year under review. Also, planning is on schedule for the widely-supported conversion of the industrial site at Cham into a new neighbourhood, and the project is now taking shape.
As a result of the paper machines in Cham being taken out of service at the end of June 2012 and March 2013, net turnover fell as expected by 17.3% to CHF 231.3m (CHF 279.7m). Sales volumes were down by 19%, with 151,000 tonnes (187,000 tonnes) of speciality paper sold. In the strategically-important product groups, however, sales continued to rise. Despite the challenging transfer and asso-ciated costs and outlays, operating profits in Italy proved rather promising. The sale of the Italian sites that was announced in the summer and cancelled in November had a one-off negative effect, resulting in associated costs of approximately CHF 1.5m. EBIT for the 2013 business year amounted to CHF 3.2m (the same as the previous year) and net profit totalled CHF 0.4m (up from -1.2m in the preceding year). Free cash flow in the year under review achieved CHF 16.7m (CHF 8.1m in the previous year). The Group reduced net debt by a further CHF 21.6m, meaning that the Group is now free of net debt and has cash reserves of CHF 53.4m.
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