Stora Enso reports big sales boost

Richard Stuart-Turner
Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Stora Enso has reported a bumper sales increase for 2022 in its full-year results.

Bresky: "I am proud that we have delivered against our financial guidance for 2022"
Bresky: "I am proud that we have delivered against our financial guidance for 2022"

The company said its revenue for the year was up by 14.9% to €11.68bn (£10.27bn) and that sales excluding its Paper division increased by 17%.

For Q4, its revenue jumped by 5.3% to €2.864bn while sales excluding Paper increased by 5%.

Its operational EBIT for the full-year was up by 23.7% to €1.891bn, or €1.706bn excluding Paper.

In Q4, operational EBIT decreased by 16.7% to €355m while operational EBIT excluding Paper decreased to €306m.

The company said recent highlights included the acquisition of Dutch company De Jong Packaging Group, which was completed this month. The Paper division was discontinued as of 1 January 2023, and the divestments of the Hylte and Maxau paper sites are expected to be completed in H1 2023.

The divestment of the Nymölla site was completed in January 2023 while the divestment process of the Anjala paper site was discontinued, and the site will be retained in the group.

Stora Enso president and CEO Annica Bresky said: “After what has been an exceptional year in many ways, I am proud that we have delivered against our financial guidance for 2022 despite a disruptive, highly inflationary, and challenging environment.

“We have completed significant strategic projects, while making good progress to invest in strategic assets and innovation for growth in renewable packaging, sustainable building solutions and biomaterials innovations.

“Our performance in 2022 demonstrates the strength of our leading market positions and our ability to be proactive and agile in making necessary adjustments for a new reality both short and long term.”

She said Q4 was characterised “by the gloomy general macro-economic outlook along with accelerated market weakness in certain segments such as sawn wood and containerboard”.

“Despite this backdrop, we delivered an operational EBIT of €355m. This was mainly a result of the strong performance of the Biomaterials division, a stable result in the Forest division and a good result in the remaining paper business.

“We have taken a number of steps throughout the quarter such as pricing actions, flexibility in capacity management and inventories, and reinforced cost control to mitigate the sharp increase in variable costs and the margin squeeze across the group.

“We will continue on this path also going forward until we recover the profitability as we see that 2023 will be a weaker year than in 2022. The relatively high energy self-sufficiency and wood supply, along with strong sourcing operations support us in market fluctuations.”

Stora Enso’s full-year 2023 operational EBIT is expected to be lower than for the full-year 2022.

The board of directors will propose an all-time high dividend of €0.60 per share at the company’s AGM on 16 March 2023.

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