Mondi Goup Trading Update

The Group delivered a strong performance in the third quarter, benefiting from higher average selling prices across Fibre Packaging and Uncoated Fine Paper, a very strong operational performance, good cost containment and contributions from recent acquisitions. Underlying EBITDA for the third quarter of 2018 of €466 million was 30% up on the comparable prior year period (€359 million – restated1) and 4% up on the second quarter of 2018 (€447 million).

Like-for-like sales volumes for the quarter were up on the comparable prior year period due to good growth in the Fibre Packaging value chain. Selling prices for the Group’s key paper grades were significantly up on the comparable prior year period and marginally up on the second quarter.

We continue to see manageable upward pressure on our cost base with input costs up on the comparable prior year period and more moderately up when compared to the second quarter. The notable exception was paper for recycling costs, where average benchmark European prices were down 42% on the prior year period and stable sequentially. Cash fixed costs were higher as a result of the impact of mill maintenance shuts and inflationary cost pressures, mitigated by ongoing cost reduction initiatives.

Planned mill maintenance shuts during the quarter had an estimated impact on underlying EBITDA of around €30 million (2017: €30 million). Based on prevailing market prices, we continue to estimate that the impact of maintenance shuts on underlying EBITDA for 2018 will be around €115 million (2017: €95 million).

Currency movements had a modest net negative impact on a sequential basis, with the strength of the US dollar and weakness of the South African rand relative to the euro during the period largely offsetting the negative impact from a weaker Russian rouble and Turkish lira.
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