Metsä Group’s comparable operating result in January–June 2021 was EUR 416 million

JANUARY–JUNE 2021 (1–6/2020)
*Sales were EUR 2,942 million (2,453).
*Operating result was EUR 379 million (163). Comparable operating result was EUR 416 million (158).
*Result before taxes was EUR 354 million (139). Comparable result before taxes was EUR 391 million (134).
*Comparable return on capital employed was 15.0% (6.2).
*Net cash flow from operations was EUR 374 million (203).

APRIL–JUNE 2021 (4–6/2020)
*Sales were EUR 1,542 million (1,200).
*Operating result was EUR 243 million (102). Comparable operating result was EUR 242 million (96).
*Result before taxes was EUR 232 million (93). Comparable result before taxes was EUR 231 million (86).
*Comparable return on capital employed was 17.2% (7.6).
*Net cash flow from operations was EUR 279 million (167).

President and CEO Ilkka Hämälä:
“The first half of 2021 turned out to be altogether excellent for Metsä Group. The growth in demand as well as the increase in prices in the pulp business and mechanical wood products, which began during the fourth quarter in 2020, continued throughout the period. The paperboard business also continued its strong performance and there, too, the already robust demand continued to improve, due to which price levels in different market areas also took an upward turn. Demand for consumer products in tissue paper was on a significantly lower level than in the previous year, and the intermittent easing of the pandemic did not yet figure greatly in the demand for professional products.

Metsä Group kicked off significant investment projects in 2019–2020 at Rauma, Husum and Kemi. These projects are progressing as planned towards the start-ups of the new units, set to take place in 2022 and 2023. The pick-up in the construction sector and the steep increase in steel prices have placed cost pressures on the projects.

A major investment decision to increase annual folding boxboard production capacity by 200,000 tonnes at the Husum mill was made in July. The Group continues to develop its core business operations with the planning phase of the Mariestad tissue paper mill and the development plan for the mechanical wood processing business, to be implemented in the area of the Äänekoski mill site. The earliest date at which the related investment decision considerations will be become topical is in 2022, when the projects’ environmental permit and detailed planning processes will be completed.

Metsä Spring continues its work in developing new forest industry business opportunities. Since the establishment of the innovation company, we have invested in five projects related to the value chains of our raw materials and products. The goal of these projects is to bring about value creation through new operations, functioning alongside the Group’s strong basic industry units.

Metsä Spring’s biggest projects are the demo plant for textile fibres operating in Äänekoski, and the demo plant for 3D fibre packaging, which will be completed during the second half of this year, also in Äänekoski.
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