After first “paper on reel” on March 31st, LEIPA will soon complete the startup period of its PM 5 and begin supplying customers with uncoated White Top Testliner from PM 5. LEIPA Group CEO Peter Probst: “We look forward to growing successfully with our customers and partners. The demand for White Top Liner remains consistently high and the trend is rising. Prices are at a high level as well. These factors result in excellent conditions for the market launch of the PM 5.” As an international market leader LEIPA will have developed a one-stop shop for their customers with the PM 3 and PM 5, offering an annual total capacity of 700,000 tons of coated and uncoated White Top Testliner. Click Read More below for additional information.
A promising start of the year, supported by the profit protection programme
Q1/2019 (compared with Q1/2018)
- Sales increased 2.2% to EUR 2 635 (2 579) million, the highest first quarter since 2013 and the ninth consecutive quarter of growth.
- Operational EBIT decreased to EUR 324 (369) million which was in the upper end of our guidance range of EUR 260–350 million.
- The operational EBIT margin was 12.3% (14.3%), above 10% for the seventh consecutive quarter.
- Operating profit (IFRS) was EUR 313 (355) million.
- EPS decreased by 16.0% to EUR 0.29 (0.35) and EPS excl. IAC was EUR 0.30 (0.35).
- Cash flow from operations decreased slightly to EUR 223 (229) million. Cash flow after
investing activities amounted to EUR 94 (113) million.
- The net debt to operational EBITDA ratio increased to 1.7 (1.3), due to the adoption of IFRS 16 Leases (impact 0.3) and dividend payment.
- Operational ROCE was 14.0% (17.7%), above the strategic target of 13%.
Outlook for 2019
Stora Enso’s year 2019 is expected to be largely in line with 2018, provided that the current trading conditions do not significantly change. Demand growth is expected to continue for Stora Enso’s other businesses except for European Paper, for which demand is forecast to continue to decline in 2019. Group’s sales are expected to be higher and costs are forecast to increase in 2019 compared to 2018. Stora Enso will implement measures to mitigate these cost increases and the increased uncertainties with the profit protection programme.