Metsä Board’s comparable operating result in January–June 2021 was EUR 191 million

January–June 2021 (compared with 1–6/2020)
• Sales were EUR 1,049.5 million (945.2).
• Comparable operating result was EUR 191.3 million (94.2) or 18.2% (10.0) of sales. Operating result was EUR 185.6 million (100.3).
• Comparable earnings per share were EUR 0.42 (0.19), and earnings per share were EUR 0.41 (0.21).
• Comparable return on capital employed was 19.3% (10.7).
• Net cash flow from operations was EUR 150.7 mil-lion (152.3).

“The year 2021 has been very good for Metsä Board. Demand for our fresh fibre paperboards has been strong in all our products and in all our main markets. Sales prices have risen during the first half of the year and we see the same trend continuing in the third quarter. The order books for paperboards remain at an exceptionally high level, which also supports the outlook for the rest of the year.

The delivery volumes of folding boxboard and white kraftliners were again record high in April–June, totalling 514,000 tonnes. Our comparable operating result was excellent, EUR 102.5 million (4–6/2020: EUR 60.5 million). Cash flow during the second quarter was also strong, EUR 134 million, and at the end of the period we were nearly free of net debt.

Our comparable operating result in January–June 2021 was EUR 191.3 million (1–6/2020: 94.2). Our profitability improved due to the rapid rise in market pulp prices and record-high paperboard volumes. The comparison period was weakened by the paper industry strike in Finland, which had an approximately EUR 20 million negative impact on the result.

Cost inflation has accelerated during the year, raising the price level of energy and some chemicals, among other things. Logistics costs have also increased and shortage of containers in the traffic between Europe and Asia continues to affect deliveries, particularly in market pulp.

The fire which broke out on the chip conveyor of the Husum pulp mill in late June resulted in significant production losses for us, in both market pulp and paperboards. This will have an impact on third quarter sales. The damage caused by the fire has been repaired, and Husum’s paperboard and market pulp production are now running at normal capacity.
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