Rottneros interim report January-September 2023

Lennart Eberleh, President and CEO, Rottneros AB

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Positive outcome reflects the strength in Rottneros’ business model

  • NET TURNOVER decreased by 14 percent to 693 (806) MSEK. Excluding groundwood pulp, turnover fell by 2 percent. Compared with the second quarter of 2023, turnover increased as a result of higher sales volumes of both sulphate pulp and CTMP. Reduced demand on Rottneros’ traditional markets has caused a rise in the proportion of spot sales.
  • THE LIST PRICE of NBSK pulp was 21 percent lower in USD and 19 percent lower in SEK compared with the third quarter of 2022. Compared with the second quarter of 2023, the list price fell by 10 percent in USD and by 8 percent in SEK.
  • PRODUCED VOLUME excluding groundwood pulp ­amounted to 88.8 (85.9) thousand tons, an increase of 3 percent. Rottneros Mill had its annual maintenance shutdown during the quarter.
  • SOLD VOLUME of sulphate pulp and CTMP totalled 102.3 (86.1) thousand tons.
  • EBIT (operating profit) was 49 (185) MSEK. The quarter continued to be affected by a weak European market. Variable costs showed a substantial increase over 2022, but have declined compared with the first half of 2023.
  • NET PROFIT was 33 (270) MSEK. Earnings per share for the quarter totalled 0.22 (1.77) SEK.
  • THE BALANCE SHEET remains strong. The equity/assets ratio was 66 (68) percent and available liquidity totalled 696 (713) MSEK. Net cash amounted to 264 MSEK.

Comments by the CEO - Our sustained efforts are paying off

In the third quarter, our performance was highly satisfactory despite challenging external circumstances, primarily driven by strong volume growth and sound cost management. As a result, we are holding our ground, despite cost inflation and the sluggish market trends of the past year. The pulp market is now displaying clear signals of stabilisation, albeit against a backdrop of significant uncertainty. Our commitment to ongoing efficiency improvements, addressing customer needs and developing long-term growth niches, combined with our strong financial position, provide us with the confidence to ensure the long-term development of Rottneros despite the turbulent global landscape.

Lower pulp prices in USD and higher variable costs continued to negatively impact our income statement. Comparable units saw a 2 percent reduction in net turnover compared with the same quarter in the previous year, totalling 693 MSEK. EBIT for the quarter was 49 MSEK, bringing the year-to-date EBIT to 239 MSEK and corresponding to a margin of 11.3 percent, even in the face of challenging external conditions. The outcome serves as a clear affirmation that our commitment to the development at Rottneros is paying off and, to some extent, offsetting the substantial cost inflation, especially for our primary input, wood. However, there has been a modest upturn ­in the last quarter driven by improved access to local pulp wood, which reduced dependence on imports, as well as lower chemical costs.

Production achieved favourable results during the quarter, with a growth of 3 percent, excluding groundwood pulp. CTMP showed a robust growth of 8 percent. Meanwhile, our deliveries increased by a noteworthy 19 percent for comparable units, mainly due to our successful efforts to sell volumes within our selected niches, while also demonstrating agility in acquiring new customers, despite the underperformance in our key market, Europe. Our niche strategy, featuring custom products designed to meet the needs of our customers, along with the highest level of service, is clearly proving its worth in a challenging market environment.

In our most vital customer segment, board and packaging, the European market has seen a decline of as much as 13 percent year-to-date compared with the previous year.


Source: Rottneros


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