Metsä Board’s comparable operating result in January–September 2023 was EUR 121 million

Metsä Board’s CEO Mika Joukio

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January–September 2023 (compared to 1–9/2022)

  • Sales were EUR 1,519.2 million (1,879.7).
  • The comparable operating result was EUR 121.5 million 420.0), or 8.0% of sales (22.3). Operating result was EUR 121.0 million (436.8).
  • Comparable earnings per share were EUR 0.26 (0.90), and earnings per share were EUR 0.26 (0.94).
  • Comparable return on capital employed was 6.7% (23.0).
  • Net cash flow from operations was EUR 218.6 million (161.7).

July–September 2023 (compared to 7–9/2022)

  • Sales were EUR 479.0 million (647.3).
  • The comparable operating result was EUR 5.5 million (152.5), or 1.1% (23.6) of sales. Operating result was EUR 3.1 million (153.4).
  • Comparable earnings per share were EUR 0.02 (0.33), and earnings per share were EUR 0.01 (0.33).
  • Comparable return on capital employed was 1.3% (24.7).
  • Net cash flow from operations was EUR 76.6 million (66.4).

Metsä Board’s CEO Mika Joukio:

“After the summer, the market situation for paperboard has remained subdued but relatively stable. The reduced purchasing power caused by cost inflation and the rise in interest rates has led to consumers considering their purchase decisions more carefully and has affected the general demand for consumer products. Increased imports of cartonboard from Asia, especially to Turkey, the MEA region and South America, have affected the market balance especially in Europe, and increased competition.

In July–September, our paperboard deliveries amounted to 340,000 tonnes, still clearly below our capacity level. However, despite the subdued market, the average sales prices of our paperboards remained at a good level. Our sales were EUR 479 million, and our operating margin was 1.1 (Q3/2022: 647 and 23.6). Profitability was negatively affected especially by lower pulp prices compared to the corresponding period last year.

Significant investment shutdowns took place in the third quarter. In September, we concluded the Kemi paperboard mill’s development programme, which will increase the annual production capacity of white kraftliner by approximately 40,000 tonnes and enhance the paperboard mill’s energy and water use. In Husum, we are increasing the annual production capacity of folding boxboard by 200,000 tonnes, and the ramp-up of the new capacity will begin in the fourth quarter. We will be selling both paperboard grades primarily in Europe and North America – areas in which our paperboards already have a strong market position. In September, Metsä Fibre’s new bioproduct mill started up in Kemi. The largest investment in the history of the Finnish forest industry, it will produce 1.5 million tonnes of softwood and hardwood pulp annually more cost-effectively and with significantly lower emissions than before.

Our sales in January–September were EUR 1,519 million, and our operating margin was 8.0 (1–9/2022: 1,880 and 22.3). Paperboard delivery volumes decreased by 23%, and those of market pulp by 32% from the comparison period. Due to low demand, we have adjusted our paperboard, BCTMP and pulp production this year. In the second half, we have temporarily laid off some of our staff at nearly all our mills in Finland. Although cost inflation has slowed this year, it still has an impact on profitability.

In a weak demand environment, competitiveness becomes more important. Metsä Board’s premium paperboard, reliable deliveries and service concept that helps our customers with various packaging challenges are key factors that strengthen our competitiveness. We will also continue to effectively manage our working capital, and in our main markets, we will focus on customers who profit from sustainably produced premium fresh fibre paperboards.

The long-term trends supporting the growth in demand for paperboards remain unchanged. Consumers who value sustainability favour renewable instead of fossil-based packaging materials, and many brand owners have announced their goals of reducing the use of plastics in their packaging in the next few years. Metsä Board is in strong financial shape, which enables us to invest in fibre-based packaging materials with strong long-term growth prospects.”


Source: Metsä Board


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