Stora Enso Q2 Net Profit Up, Sales Down On Weak Demand; Profit Protection Programme Ahead Of Plan

(RTTNews) - Stora Enso Oyj (SEOAY.PK), a Finnish pulp and paper manufacturer, reported Tuesday that its second-quarter net profit surged 177.2 percent to 144 million euros from last year's 52 million euros. Earnings per share were 0.19 euro, up from 0.08 euro a year ago.

Profit before tax grew 103.7 percent from last year to 190 million euros.

The latest included items affecting comparability or IAC of loss of 7 million euros, compared to prior year's loss of 120 million euros.

Adjusted earnings per share were 0.14 euro, compared to 0.27 euro last year. Adjusted profit before tax was 142 million euros, compared to 250 million euros last year.

Operating profit climbed 59.2 percent to 226 million euros, while operational EBITDA fell 27 percent to 332 million euros. Operational EBITDA margin was 15.7 percent, down from 17.5 percent last year.

Sales decreased 18.9 percent to 2.11 billion euros from 2.61 billion euros a year ago. The decline in sales reflected lower deliveries and prices, as a result of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Sales excluding Paper decreased 11.9 percent.

Looking ahead, Stora Enso said it has discontinued its quarterly guidance and annual outlook until further notice, due to the uncertainty in the global economy. The Covid-19 crisis has accelerated the decline in demand for European paper, and the market conditions for its other products continue to be mixed.

Due to the cross-border travel restrictions and safety concerns associated with Covid-19, most of Stora Enso's annual mill maintenance shutdowns were postponed from the first half until the second half of 2020. The total negative impact of maintenance at six mills in the third-quarter is estimated to be 45 million euros more compared to preceding second quarter, and similar to last year's third quarter.

Further, the profit protection programme of 350 million euros for continuous cost savings and an additional 85 million euros for one-time savings is proceeding well and ahead of plan. The target is to achieve these savings by the end of 2021.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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