BillerudKorsnas Interim Report January – March 2018

Quarterly data
Net sales were SEK 5 897 million (5 636), an increase of 5% mainly as a result of increased selling prices.
EBITDA was SEK 1 065 million (923), an increase of 15% mainly as a result of increased selling prices, which were partly offset by higher wood prices.
Adjusted EBITDA was SEK 1 102 million (938), an increase of 17%.
The adjusted operating margin was 12% (10%).
Adjusted operating profit was SEK 729 million (572), an increase of 27%.
Earnings per share amounted to SEK 2.40 (1.94).

Key highlights
Stable production
Strong earnings driven by increased selling prices
Continued high demand across all business areas
Negative earnings impact from cost inflation and wood shortage
Strategic investments are progressing according to plan
Positive market outlook in both the short and long term

Strong demand
“The quarter was characterised by stable production and a continued strong demand for innovative and sustainable packaging. As the market leader in our selected product areas, we are well positioned to capture growth. Revenues in the quarter increased by 5% compared with the same period last year, which was mainly due to higher selling prices. Owing to the weather-related wood shortage that affected the entire sector, we have had difficulty in fully meeting customer demand during the period.

Our investments are progressing according to plan. The paper machine at Skärblacka is currently undergoing start-up and is expected to make a positive contribution to earnings towards the end of the year. At Gruvön, we have strengthened the programme management and created clearer ownership of each element of the project. As we equip ourselves for the future, we have to not only expand capacity to meet increased demand but also optimise production between our mills. We shall ensure a customer-oriented offering produced in resource-efficient facilities with stable availability and a high level of safety.”

The result
EBITDA for the quarter rose by 15% to SEK 1 065 million. Sales volumes decreased compared with last year, while net sales increased by 5% owing mainly to increased prices and a positive currency impact. Variable costs increased, mainly owing to demand-related price increases for wood and chemicals.

All business areas are continuing to deliver stable earnings. Packaging Paper is delivering strong earnings, driven by increased demand and higher prices. Consumer Board had high availability and EBITDA increased by 8% compared with last year. Managed Packaging, within Corrugated Solutions, is continuing to deliver strong sales growth.

Production availability was good during the quarter. This is essential for profitable growth and continued investments in the future. Disruptions to production or start-up problems directly impact how customers perceive quality, as well as impacting Group profits. To minimise problems in production in the future, a Group unit has been set up to harmonise the work on increasing safety, and to ensure stability and quality at all facilities. The starting point for this work is to adopt a more customer-oriented perspective and focus on preventive actions.
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