INTERIM REPORT January–September 2017

(Tables included in attached PDF)

Q3 2017

  • Net sales SEK 5 544 m
  • EBITDA SEK 1 051 m
  • EBITDA margin 19%
  • Earnings per share SEK 2.48

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Net sales for the third quarter increased by approximately 3% compared with the same quarter last year, mainly as a result of improved prices in local currency.
  • EBITDA was just over 1% better than in the same quarter last year as a result of local price increases.
  • EBITDA was affected by costs of SEK 215 million for planned maintenance shutdowns.
  • Earnings per share for the quarter amounted to SEK 2.48 (2.41).

OUTLOOK – Q4

  • Demand and order situation are expected to be strong in the fourth quarter with normal seasonal variances for all business areas.
  • The Packaging Paper and Corrugated Solutions business areas see opportunities for local price increases in the next quarter.
  • Wood costs for Q4 are expected to be unchanged.
  • Costs for planned maintenance shutdowns in the fourth quarter are estimated at SEK 120 million.
  • Additional non-recurring costs at Gruvön of around SEK 30 million for training and temporary staff are expected to impact the fourth quarter.

OUTLOOK for 2018

  • Paper prices in local currency are expected to increase.
  • The total raw material cost might be impacted by an increased market demand.
  • The pulp price is expected to decrease during the year.
  • Production capacity is estimated to increase by approximately 1%.
  • The MG machine, moved to Skärblacka from Tervasaari, will be started up and is expected to produce 40 ktonnes, mainly in the second half of the year.
  • Before the start-up of the new board machine at Gruvön in 2019, the company will need to build up stock of around 20 ktonnes.
  • The company expects additional non-recurring costs at Gruvön of around SEK 150 million for loss of volumes, training and temporary staff.

Comments by BillerudKorsnäs’ CEO Per Lindberg:

Good demand and stable results

 “We experienced a very strong market in the quarter, resulting in positive sales performance. Net sales were up 3% and volumes were up 1% on last year. Overall, we have had some difficulties with production availability in recent quarters, so we have established a new organisation to work proactively on both availability and quality at our facilities. I am confident that this will generate results over the coming years.

Looking ahead, market conditions appear encouraging, and we see good opportunities for continued growth. In the longer term, we will have additional support from increasing demand for sustainable packaging solutions. In this respect, our major investments, which will start to deliver in 2018 and 2019, will make a significant positive contribution to our growth on this market.”    

THE RESULT

EBITDA in the quarter was SEK 1 051 million and we experienced positive sales performance on the back of a strong market in Europe and increased demand in China and the rest of Asia. The slightly higher volumes, combined with higher prices, offset negative currency movements. During the quarter, our Karlsborg production unit was affected by a production shutdown due to a fire, which had an approximately SEK 35 million impact on earnings. The fire was put out quickly and there were no injuries to personnel, but it caused extensive damage to cabling in an adjacent area. The damage has been repaired and Karlsborg’s production is running according to plan once again.

The business areas delivered stable earnings. Consumer Board recorded its highest cartonboard sales volumes since Billerud and Korsnäs merged. Within Corrugated Solutions, Managed Packaging posted sales growth of almost 50 percent compared to last year.

MARKET OUTLOOK

The market for all business areas is expected to remain strong over the next quarter. We are seeing favourable order levels and opportunities for further price increases. It is uncertain, however, how large the price increases may be.

In the longer term, this positive picture is being further strengthened by growing demand for sustainable packaging solutions, particularly regarding alternatives to plastic. Plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time and we are therefore seeing a greater focus on regulation to counter unnecessary use of plastic. This is strengthening our competitiveness as opportunities to replace less sustainable solutions are growing.

STRATEGY

Efficiency is a cornerstone of our strategy. Our approach to efficiency is about doing things right, and having efficient processes and practices. It is our customers who principally determine what are the right things to do. That’s why we are increasingly focusing on developing and harmonising our working practices by strengthening group-wide functions within our production organisation. This relates in particular to minimising production disruptions and ensuring our products maintain consistently high quality.

Another aspect of this is structural. Our two major investment projects, a new board machine at Gruvön and a world-leading MG centre at Skärblacka, not only demonstrate our ambition of meeting the market’s growing needs with efficient board and paper machines. We have also demonstrated our ability to create a production system that is efficient both in terms of its overall structure and its constituent parts. This is in order to supply our current and future customers with the highest-quality sustainable packaging materials and solutions. These projects are proceeding to schedule and we are looking forward to the start-ups; spring 2018 for Skärblacka and spring 2019 for Gruvön.

BillerudKorsnäs’ President and CEO Per Lindberg and CFO Susanne Lithander will present the interim report at a press and analyst conference at 10.00 CET on Tuesday 17 October 2017.
Venue: Tändstickspalatset, Västra Trädgårdsgatan 15, Stockholm
The press and analyst conference can also be viewed live on BillerudKorsnäs’ website www.billerudkorsnas.com.
  

For further information, please contact:
Per Lindberg, President and CEO +46 (0)8 553 335 00
Susanne Lithander, CFO, +46 (0)8 553 335 00

This information constituted insider information prior to publication. This is information that BillerudKorsnäs AB (publ) is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact persons set out above, at 07.00 CET on 17 October 2017.  

BillerudKorsnäs provides packaging materials and solutions that challenge conventional packaging for a sustainable future. We are a world leading provider of primary fiber based packaging materials and have customers in over 100 countries. The company has 7 production sites in Sweden, Finland and the UK and about 4 300 employees in over 13 countries. BillerudKorsnäs has an annual turnover of about SEK 22 billion and is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. www.billerudkorsnas.com

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About Us

BillerudKorsnäs provides packaging materials and solutions that challenge conventional packaging for a sustainable future. We are a world-leading provider of primary fibre based packaging materials and have customers in over 100 countries. The company has 8 production sites in Sweden, Finland and the UK and about 4300 employees in over 13 countries. BillerudKorsnäs has an annual turnover of about SEK 22 billion and is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. www.billerudkorsnas.com