January–June 2020 (compared to 1–6/2019)
• Sales were EUR 945.2 million (964.2).
• Comparable operating result was EUR 94.2 million (102.8), or 10.0% (10.7%) of sales. Operating result was EUR 100.3 million (118.3).
• Comparable earnings per share were EUR 0.19 (0.23), and earnings per share were EUR 0.21 (0.27).
• Comparable return on capital employed was 10.7% (11.7%).
• Net cash flow from operations was EUR 152.3 million (67.1).
April–June 2020 (compared to 4–6/2019)
• Sales were EUR 473.1 million (477.1).
• Comparable operating result was EUR 60.5 million (41.0), or 12.8% (8.6%) of sales. Operating result was EUR 66.5 million (46.4).
• Comparable earnings per share were EUR 0.13 (0.09), and earnings per share were EUR 0.15 (0.10).
• Comparable return on capital employed was 13.9% (9.7%).
• Net cash flow from operations was EUR 72.3 million (30.7).
Metsä Board’s CEO Mika Joukio: “Metsä Board’s business operations performed well in the second quarter. At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March–April, demand for fresh fibre paper-boards used in food and pharmaceutical packaging in particular was exceptionally strong, and our order backlog increased to a high level. This rapid growth is explained not only by the pandemic, but also by the Finnish paper industry strike in early 2020. However, de-mand normalised towards the end of the review period. Our paperboard delivery volumes in April–June were higher than in the first quarter and in the corresponding period last year.
Our comparable operating result in the second quarter improved year-on-year and was EUR 60.5 million (41.0). Profitability was supported by lower production costs, particularly in the paperboard business, and favourable foreign exchange development. The price development of our paperboards has remained relatively stable, but the sales prices of market pulp were clearly lower than in the previous year.
Our cash flow from operations has remained strong for three consecutive quarters. In the first half of 2020, our cash flow from operations was clearly higher than in previous years, at EUR 152.3 million. This further supports our good liquidity. Our profit distribution from 2019 was in line with the original proposal of the Board of Directors, and our strong financial position also enables us to proceed with our investments as planned.