UPM financial statements release 2021: Earnings back to strong pre-pandemic levels

Q4 2021 highlights
*Sales increased by 22% to EUR 2,673 million (2,188 million in Q4 2020)
*Comparable EBIT increased by 83% to EUR 461 million, 17.2% of sales (252 million, 11.5%)
*Operating cash flow was EUR 406 million (347 million)
*Net debt increased to EUR 647 million (56 million) and net debt to EBITDA ratio was 0.35 (0.04)
*The unprecedented energy market situation enabled UPM Energy to reach record earnings but added to the paper businesses’ costs
*The fair value of UPM’s sustainably managed forests increased due to higher wood volume, growth, and price estimates
*Refined completion plan for the Uruguay project ready and investment case confirmed, start-up scheduled by the end of Q1 2023
*UPM was listed in the Dow Jones European and World Sustainability Indices (DJSI) for 2021–2022 as the only company in its industry
*UPM was recognized with a CDP ‘A’ score for its sustainable forestry operations.

2021 highlights
*Sales increased by 14% to EUR 9,814 million (8,580 million in 2020)
*Comparable EBIT increased by 55% to EUR 1,471 million (948 million), and was 15.0% (11.1%) of sales
*Operating cash flow was EUR 1,250 million (1,005 million)
*Cash funds and unused committed credit facilities totalled EUR 2.5 billion at the end of December
*UPM Board of Directors proposes a dividend of EUR 1.30 per share be paid in respect of the 2021 financial year (1.30).
*UPM started the basic engineering phase of a next-generation biofuels refinery in January
*UPM sold the UPM Shotton newsprint mill in the UK
*The global sustainability ratings provider EcoVadis recognised UPM on the highest possible Platinum level for its responsible performance in 2021
*UPM was recognised as one of the world’s 37 most sustainable companies by the UN Global Compact
*UPM joined The Climate Pledge in February, committed to reach the targets of the Paris Agreement 10 years in advance

Jussi Pesonen, President and CEO, comments on the Q4 results:
“2021 was a strong year for UPM. We successfully managed to navigate an exceptional operating environment, delivering performance that exceeded UPM’s financial targets. Our earnings returned to strong pre-pandemic levels, and five out of our six business areas surpassed their long-term financial targets. The world economy recovered quickly from the previous year’s deep slowdown. Demand for our products was strong in all business areas. We improved our margins, despite significant raw material and energy cost increases.

The year ended with a solid Q4. Demand for our products was good and the upward trend in sales prices and variable costs continued. The defining feature of the quarter was the unprecedented energy market situation, which had a significant effect on our paper businesses, yet allowed our energy business to achieve record earnings. In net terms, high energy prices had a negative effect on our results. The results also included a notable increase in the value of our sustainably managed forests as a result of higher volume, growth and price estimates.
details at: https://www.upm.com/about-us/for-media/releases/2022/01/upm-financial-statements-release-2021-earnings-back-to-strong-pre-pandemic-levels-refined-completion-plan-for-uruguay-project-ready/

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