The Group's consolidated sales went up to EUR 533.9 million and thus were 1.9 % above the comparative figure of the previous year (1Q 2014: EUR 523.9 million). This rise is mainly the result of increased business volume in the packaging division. Operating profit rose by 10.0 % or EUR 4.6 million to EUR 50.8 million. This growth is primari-ly attributable to the overall improved performance of the MM Packaging plants. Accordingly, the Group's operating margin reached 9.5 %, following 8.8 % in the first three months of the previous year.
Stora Enso has signed an agreement to divest its offset printed micro-flute packaging plant in Komárom, Hungary to Van Genechten Packaging International S.A., a leading Belgian packaging company.
The initial cash consideration for the divestment of the shares is approximately EUR 12 million, subject to customary closing day adjustments. The transaction has no material income statement impact and is expected to be completed within one month.
“There have been major changes in the Komárom plant’s customer base, making the plant no longer strategic to Stora Enso. I believe that a new, solid, international owner can give the company the attention it deserves and develop it further in the new situation,” says Gilles van Nieuwenhuyzen, Head of Packaging Solutions division.
Based on 2014 annual figures, the divestment is expected to reduce Stora Enso’s annual sales by EUR 14 million and simultaneously decrease the annual corrugated packaging converting capacity by approximately 15 million m2. The Komárom plant employs approximately 90 people.