Huhtamäki's Q4 net income down 25.2% year-over-year to €21.2M; net sales up 8.3% to €521.8M supported by favorable prices, product mix development

ESPOO, Finland , February 15, 2012 (press release) – - Solid organic net sales growth throughout the year

- Three strategic, growth enhancing acquisitions completed

- Strong performance of the Flexible Packaging segment, both in Asia and in Europe

- In 2012 growth in net sales is expected to continue and earnings per share (EPS) are expected to increase compared to the EUR 0.87 (excluding non-recurring items) achieved in 2011

- The Board of Directors proposes a dividend of EUR 0.46 (EUR 0.44 for 2010) per share

CEO Jukka Moisio:

"Huhtamaki has returned to a growth track. Last year we focused on our core businesses and sought to grow them. We succeeded and we are pleased to report growth in all segments. Organic growth was strongest in our Flexible Packaging segment whose sales advanced at double-digit rates not only in fast-growing Asian countries but also in Europe. Our re-entry into acquisitive growth took place through three transactions during the second half of 2011 and the full impact of these steps will be visible in 2012. Fast-growing emerging markets grew at 14% in 2011 and now account for 24% of net sales.

Although there were no major changes in our business environment in 2011, the increased general economic uncertainty was reflected in customer cautiousness especially during the second half of the year. In these conditions we can be satisfied with the sustained level of profitability. Our solid financial position and well-timed refinancing activities during 2011 will allow us to continue implementing our strategy of quality growth during 2012."

Overview

The Group's trading conditions in 2011 remained relatively stable despite increased general economic uncertainty during the second half of the year. Demand for consumer packaging remained robust within emerging markets throughout the year. Raw material price levels were high during the first half of the year but stabilized during the third quarter and declined during the fourth quarter. Currencies moved adversely in the second and third quarters.

The Group's net sales developed favorably in 2011 compared to the previous year, led by the continued strong organic growth in the Flexible Packaging segment. Full year net sales were EUR 2,044 million (EUR 1,952 million). Reported Group net sales growth for the year was EUR 92 million, of which the businesses acquired during the second half of the year accounted for EUR 29 million. Adverse currency translations, especially in North America, had a negative impact in reported net sales development. The full year impact of adverse currency translations was EUR -36 million.

The Group's earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) for the year were EUR 121 million, including non-recurring charges of EUR 7 million (net amount). In 2010 the Group's earnings were EUR 134 million. Earnings development was strongest in the Flexible Packaging segment supported by healthy net sales growth. Fourth quarter earnings development was supported by favorable price and product mix development.

The Group's free cash flow developed positively during the fourth quarter and free cash flow for the full year was EUR 65 million (EUR 113 million). Return on investment (ROI) was 9.8% (12.0%) and return on equity (ROE) was 11.0% (14.5%).

Three strategic, growth enhancing acquisitions were completed during 2011. A hygienic films manufacturer was acquired in Brazil and two specialty folding carton packaging businesses were acquired in the United States. The strategic review of the rigid plastic consumer goods operations, commenced in 2008, was completed. The closure of a Flexible Packaging manufacturing unit in New Zealand and restructuring activities of a Foodservice unit in Germany were also announced during the year.

Outlook for 2012

The Group's trading conditions are expected to remain relatively stable during 2012. The good financial position and ability to generate a positive cash flow will enable the Group to further address profitable growth opportunities. Growth in net sales is expected to continue and earnings per share (EPS) are expected to increase compared to the EUR 0.87 (excluding non-recurring items) achieved in 2011. Capital expenditure is expected to be below EUR 100 million.

Dividend proposal

On December 31, 2011 Huhtamäki Oyj's non-restricted equity was EUR 855 million. The Board of Directors will propose to the Annual General Meeting that a dividend of EUR 0.46 (EUR 0.44) per share, in total EUR 47 million, be paid.

Annual General Meeting 2012
The Annual General Meeting of Shareholders will be held on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 1 pm (Finnish time), at Finlandia Hall, Mannerheimintie 13 e, in Helsinki, Finland.

Financial reporting schedule in 2012
Annual Accounts for 2011 will be published during week 9 on the Company website at www.huhtamaki.com. Huhtamaki will publish the following interim reports during the course of the year:
- Interim Report January 1 - March 31, 2012 April 24, 2012
- Interim Report January 1 - June 30, 2012 July 20, 2012
- Interim Report January 1 - September 30, 2012 October 19, 2012

This is a summary of Huhtamaki's Results January 1 - December 31, 2011. The complete report is attached to this release and is also available at the company website at www.huhtamaki.com.

For further information, please contact:
Jukka Moisio, CEO, tel. +358 10 686 7801
Timo Salonen, CFO, tel. +358 10 686 7880

HUHTAMÄKI OYJ
Group Communications

Huhtamaki Group is a leading manufacturer of consumer and specialty packaging with 2011 net sales totaling EUR 2 billion. Foodservice and consumer goods markets are served by approximately 12,700 people in 59 manufacturing units and several sales offices in 31 countries. The parent company, Huhtamäki Oyj, has its head office in Espoo, Finland and its share is quoted on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd. Additional information is available at www.huhtamaki.com.

Industry Intelligence Editor's Note: In an omitted table, Huhtamaki reported Q4 net income of €21.1 million and net sales of €521.8 million. For the same period a year ago, the company recorded net income of €28.2 million and net sales of €481.8 million.

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