Record results for Stora Enso

Jo Francis
Thursday, April 28, 2022

Stora Enso has reported its highest quarterly EBIT in some 20 years and an all-time-high margin in its Q1 results.

Bresky: our key focus areas are our star performers
Bresky: our key focus areas are our star performers

The Finland-headquartered group described the financial performance as “outstanding” in a turbulent environment. 

Sales were up 23% at nearly €2.8bn (£2.36bn), while sales excluding its remaining Paper operation were up 29%. 

Last month Stora Enso announced that it planned to sell four of its five remaining paper mills. 

Operational EBIT jumped by 53% to €503m, and the margin increased to 18%. 

In her commentary, CEO Annica Bresky said the year had started strongly for the group. 

“We have seen strong demand for our products with high prices and solid volumes in all our segments and regions,” she stated. 

“Our strategic positioning and investments in growth within renewable materials is paying off, with our key focus areas being our star performers.”

Paper has reduced from 70% of Stora’s sales back in 2006 to around 15% now, following the closure or conversion of a number of mills. 

Paper production of 533,000 tonnes was down 28.3% year-on-year, while the unit was back in the black after operational EBIT increased by €70m to €36m.

The group's Packaging Materials wing turned in an all-time-high performance with sales up 31% to €1.13bn and record operational EBIT of €196m. 

Regarding the mill divestment programme involving Anjala in Finland, Hylte and Nymölla in Sweden, and Maxau in Germany, Bresky said: “The sites that are up for sale are competitive and operate in attractive paper segments with improving market conditions. 

“We have no deadline for the conclusion of the divestment, and I am confident we will find responsible new owners that can continue to develop the businesses further.”

It is retaining the Langerbrugge site in Belgium for possible future conversion. 

“We are fully booked, see no weakening in our markets and we continuously work to mitigate higher input costs,” Bresky said. 

“Beyond favourable sustainability trends, many of our products are day-to-day necessities used regardless of recession, geopolitical uncertainties, and other disruptions.”

Stora Enso moved swiftly to halt its operations in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine and has now sold its two sawmills there to local management. 

It is still working on a sustainable solution for the future of its three Russian packaging plants. 

Stora Enso’s sales in Russia were about 3% of group turnover last year. 

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