Metsä Board increased comparable EBITDA by 19% amid sales increase of 2% in 1Q2017. According to the disclosed information, the company’s sales in the period totaled EUR 444.5 million, generating EUR 68.8 million of comparable EBITDA (15.5% margin).
Mika Joukio, Metsä Board’s CEO, commented:
“The delivery volumes of paperboards grew compared to the previous quarter and achieved a monthly all-time high in March. As expected, the most significant growth derived from Husum’s folding boxboard, but demand for fresh fibre linerboards was also strong. Our operating result was supported by the positive development of Finnish mills and a strong pulp market. No major maintenance shutdowns that would have weakened the result took place during the review period.
We still have plenty of potential to improve our profitability at Husum. In folding boxboard, the increase of the capacity utilisation rate will lower the production costs per tonne produced. The extrusion coating line targeted for food and food service packaging will speed up sales growth in a customer segment that is new for us. In fresh fibre linerboards, our focus in the coming years is increasingly on coated linerboard, which has better profitability than uncoated linerboard.
In 2017, we aim to sell 300,000 tonnes of Husum’s folding boxboard primarily in North America, where demand for Metsä Board’s paperboards is strong. The lightness of our folding boxboard is still a considerable competitive advantage for us, and one of the most important focus areas in our product development. Increasing product safety requirements and the growing emphasis on the appearance of packaging are increasing demand for premium and sustainably produced packaging materials. Metsä Board’s paperboards bring all these qualities together. We want to continue to develop our products in such a way that they meet our customers’ needs and to keep growing profitably together with our customers in the coming years.”
In 4Q2016 Metsä Board decreased EBITDA margin to 14%.
Metsä Board is a leading European folding boxboard and white fresh forest fibre linerboard producer as well as a market pulp supplier. Its sales network serves brand owners, carton printers, corrugated packaging manufacturers, printers and merchants. In 2016, the company’s sales totaled EUR 1.7 billion. It employees around 2,600 people. Metsä Board is part of Metsä Group.
About Metsä Group:
The company is a forest industry group whose core business consists of tissue and cooking papers, paperboard, pulp, wood products, and wood supply and forest services. It has operations in almost 30 countries and production in 9 of them.