Stora Enso's first quarter 2006 results improved as average product prices rose and demand remained good. Profitability was negatively impacted as a consequence of the standstill at Port Hawkesbury Mill in Canada and higher energy costs.
First Quarter Results (compared with previous quarter) Stora Enso's earnings per share were EUR 0.20 (EUR 0.13) excluding non-recurring items. Operating profit excluding non-recurring items rose by 60.5% to EUR 194.1 (EUR 120.9) million, which is 5.4% of sales. Profit before tax amounted to EUR 210.9 (EUR 96.4) million excluding non-recurring items.
Sales at EUR 3 607.7 million were similar to the previous quarter's EUR 3 636.1 million. Cash flow from operations was EUR 288.6 (EUR 169.7) million and cash flow after investing activities EUR 120.9 (EUR -109.7) million. Cash earnings per share were EUR 0.54 (EUR 0.50) excluding non-recurring items.
Net financial items were EUR 115.2 (EUR -48.9) million, including a non-recurring capital gain of EUR 130.0 million from the sale of the shares in Sampo Oyj for EUR 155.4 million.
There were two non-recurring items with a net impact of EUR -23.2 million on operating profit (based on pulp prices and exchange rates at the end of March) related to the divestments of Grycksbo Mill and Linghed Sawmill in Sweden as part of the previously announced Asset Performance Review.
EUR million 2004 2005 Q1/05 Q4/05 Q1/06 Sales 12 395.8 13 187.5 3 144.9 3 636.1 3 607.7 EBITDA1)2) 1 508.4 1 487.4 388.8 411.6 463.3 Operating profit2)4) 426.7 357.5 112.7 120.9 194.1 Non-recurring items (operational) 369.7 -451.4 - -439.4 -23.2 Non-recurring items (financial) - - - - 130.0 Operating margin2)4), % 3.4 2.7 3.6 3.3 5.4 Operating profit4) 796.4 -93.9 112.7 -318.5 170.9 Profit before tax and minority interests2)4) 359.6 273.1 83.6 96.4 210.9 Profit before tax and minority interests4) 729.3 -178.3 83.6 -343.0 317.7 Net profit for the period4) 747.8 -126.3 60.0 -244.2 226.4
EPS2), Basic, EUR 0.25 0.28 0.07 0.13 0.20 EPS, Basic, EUR 0.89 -0.16 0.07 -0.31 0.29 CEPS2)3), EUR 1.67 1.70 0.41 0.50 0.54 ROCE2), % 3.0 3.1 4.1 4.1 6.5
1) EBITDA = Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation 2) Excluding net non-recurring items. Exceptional transactions that are not related to normal business operations are accounted for as non-recurring items. The most common non-recurring items are capital gains, additional write-downs, restructuring provisions and penalties. Non-recurring items are normally specified individually if they exceed one cent per share. 3) CEPS = (Net profit for the period + depreciation and amortisation)/average number of shares 4) The comparative figures exclude goodwill amortisation of EUR 90.3 million for 2004
First Quarter Results (compared with Q1/2005) Sales at EUR 3 607.7 million were 14.7% higher than in the first quarter of 2005, due to the impact of the Schneidersöhne acquisition, increased prices in all segments and increased deliveries in Fine Paper and Packaging Boards.
Operating profit excluding non-recurring items increased by EUR 81.4 million and was higher in all segments, mainly because prices rose.
Profit before taxes and minority interests excluding non-recurring items increased by EUR 127.3 million and earnings per share excluding non-recurring items increased by EUR 0.13 to EUR 0.20. Earnings per share including non-recurring items were EUR 0.29 (EUR 0.07).
Near-term Outlook Commenting on the outlook, Stora Enso's CEO Jukka Härmälä said, "In Europe the increase in advertising and direct marketing evidenced early in the year should continue to stimulate demand for advertising-driven paper grades. Demand for publication paper remains good with prices stable. Fine paper demand during the second quarter is expected to be somewhat weaker than in the first quarter due to seasonal reasons. Some price increases for certain uncoated grades have been announced. Demand for packaging boards is forecast to remain good and some price increases for industrial packaging grades have also been announced. The demand for wood products is generally good, allowing for some price increases. Notwithstanding these factors, it is anticipated that overall trading conditions in Europe may not strengthen further from those experienced in the first quarter."
In North America magazine paper prices are expected to remain stable with seasonal improvement in demand towards the summer. In newsprint the downward trend in demand is expected to continue, but prices should remain stable. The demand and prices for coated fine paper are anticipated to remain stable.
In Asia seasonal improvement in coated fine paper demand should keep prices quite stable.
The Profit 2007 programme is proceeding on schedule. Further details will be reported when the second quarter results are announced.
For further information, please contact: Jukka Härmälä, Chief Executive Officer, tel. +358 2046 21404 Hannu Ryöppönen, CFO, tel. +358 2046 21450 Kari Vainio, EVP, Corporate Communications, tel. +44 7799 348 197 Keith B Russell, SVP, Investor Relations, tel. +44 7775 788 659 Ulla Paajanen-Sainio, Vice President, Investor Relations and Financial Communications, tel. +358 2046 21242
Stora Enso's second quarter results will be published on 26 July 2006.
The full-length version of the Stora Enso interim review is available on the Stora Enso website at www.storaenso.com/investors or from the following link: