Valmet Converting reports “very positive” progress for the first quarter of 2003, with a higher than expected level of sales volume, a record order backlog in most business units and improving profitability in line with business targets.

Mikko Helander, president of Valmet Converting, says: “This is a very satisfactory outcome for the group’s operations at this juncture, in view of the fragile nature of the world economy and the political insecurity in the Middle East. New products continue to be developed and launched. Our marketing effort has been particularly active during the first three months of 2003, with a strong commitment to exhibitions, new advertising and publicity campaigns. This has supported the launch of new products and strengthens our competitive edge.

“We are also continuing the ‘due diligence’ process with Bobst and hope to be able to conclude that as soon as possible. For the time being, Valmet Converting continues to be part of Metso Paper.”

Valmet Converting Tel: +44(0)1234 852553