Metsä Board Corporation’s operating result excluding non-recurring items was EUR 5 million in January–March

Metsä Board Corporation Interim Report 1 January–31 March 2012, 3 May 2012 at 12 noon

Result for January–March

  • Sales were EUR 545 million (Q4/2011: 524).
  • The operating result excluding non-recurring items was EUR 5 million (-22). The operating result including non-recurring items was EUR -4 million (-215).
  • The result before taxes excluding non-recurring items was EUR -9 million (-33). The result before taxes including non-recurring items was EUR -18 million (-230).
  • Earnings per share from continuing operations excluding non-recurring items were EUR -0.02 (-0.04) and including non-recurring items EUR -0.05 (-0.63).

 Events in the first quarter of 2012

  • The Premium Paper operations of the Reflex mill were sold to Hahnemühle FineArt GmbH and Hahnemühle’s private shareholders. After the closing of the transaction, Metsä Board no longer has operations in Reflex.
  • The company’s management and reporting structure was renewed. As of the first quarter of 2012, the reporting segments are Paperboard, and Paper and Pulp. Pasi Piiparinen started as the head of Paperboard business area on 20 March 2012.
  • The unprofitable operations of the Gohrsmühle mill in Germany were discontinued and the Alizay mill in France was shut down.
  • The Annual General Meeting that convened on 28 March 2012 resolved to change the company’s business name from M-real Corporation to Metsä Board Corporation.

 Events after the period

  • Metsä Board agreed to sell approximately 7.3 percentage points of its holding in Metsä Fibre to Japanese Itochu Corporation for EUR 138 million.
  • Metsä Board sold approximately 0.5 percentage points of its holding in Pohjolan Voima Oy to Metsä Fibre for EUR 64 million.
  • Metsä Board signed an agreement on the refinancing of its EUR 500 million bond maturing on 1 April 2013.

 
“Our profitability improved as expected in the first quarter of 2012. The result was, however, still on an unsatisfactory level. Cartonboard order books have normalised and utilisation rates have clearly improved from the turn of the year level.

Our restructuring process from a paper company to a leading cartonboard company has been completed. Our strong cartonboard business together with the paper and pulp integrate in Husum provides a good foundation for further profitability improvement.

A programme to increase our annual folding boxboard capacity by 150,000 tonnes was completed as planned with the completion of the investment to increase the capacity of the folding boxboard machine in Äänekoski in early May.

Our measures to eliminate the unprofitable paper businesses are almost complete, and the losses of our paper business are in the second quarter clearly smaller than in the first quarter.”

Mikko Helander, CEO

  

KEY FIGURES 2012 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011
  Q1 Q4 Q3 Q2 Q1 Q1-Q4
Sales, EUR million 545 524 616 660 685 2,485
EBITDA, EUR million 25 -172 24 48 77 -23
  excl. non-recurring items, EUR million 34 8 36 62 74 180
EBITDA, % 4.6 -32.8 3.9 7.3 11.2 -0.9
  excl. non-recurring items, % 6.2 1.5 5.8 9.4 10.8 7.2
Operating result, EUR million -4 -215 -13 -32 46 -214
  excl. non-recurring items, EUR million 5 -22 6 32 43 59
EBIT, % -0.7 -41.0 -2.1 -4.8 6.7 -8.6
  excl. non-recurring items, % 0.9 -4.2 1.0 4.8 6.3 2.4
Result before taxes, EUR million -18 -230 -29 -53 31 -281
  excl. non-recurring items, EUR million -9 -33 -11 16 28 0
Result for the period, EUR million -15 -209 -33 -59 28 -273
  excl. non-recurring items, EUR million -6 -12 -15 10 25 8
Result per share, EUR -0.05 -0.63 -0.11 -0.17 0.08 -0.83
  excl. non-recurring items, EUR -0.02 -0.04 -0.05 0.04 0.07 0.02
Return on equity, % -8.4 -100.4 -14.1 -23.5 10.8 -31.5
  excl. non-recurring items, % -3.1 -5.4 -6.3 4.2 9.5 0.9
Return on capital employed, % -0.4 -43.3 -1.5 -6.1 8.4 -9.9
  excl. non-recurring items, % 1.7 -3.7 2.0 6.4 7.8 3.4
Equity ratio at end of period, % 27.8 27.4 32.7 33.9 33.6 27.4
Gearing ratio at end of period, % 154 154 128 120 125 154
Net gearing ratio at end of period, % 104 106 83 84 78 106
Shareholders' equity per share at end of period, EUR 2.21 2.23 2.81 2.92 3.11 2.23
Interest-bearing net liabilities, EUR million 758 783 772 809 799 783
Gross investments, EUR million 10 35 17 31 12 95
Deliveries, 1 000 tonnes            
  Paperboard 295 290 346 365 387 1,388
  Paper 185 190 222 236 260 908
             
Personnel at the end of period 3,818 4,070 4,163 4,699 4,515 4,070
             
Deliveries are not fully comparable due to structural changes.            
EBITDA = Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and impairment charges

Near-term outlook

Cartonboard order books have normalised and utilisation rates have clearly improved from the level of the turn of the year. Cartonboard delivery volumes are estimated to improve in the second quarter, compared to the first quarter. The cartonboard price levels are not expected to change materially in the coming months. The extensive production downtime relating to the capacity expansion at the Äänekoski folding boxboard mill will have a negative impact on the profitability of the Paperboard business area in the second quarter.

Delivery volumes of paper products and pulp are not expected to change significantly in the second quarter. The price of uncoated fine paper, which has declined slightly at the beginning of the year, is estimated to increase somewhat in the second quarter. The average coated paper price is estimated to remain stable in the near future. The price of pulp is expected to increase slightly in the coming months.

Production costs are not estimated to change materially in the coming months.

The first quarter operating losses of approximately EUR 16 million in the paper units being restructured are estimated to decrease considerably in the second quarter. The Äänekoski paper mill has been shut down and the operations of the Reflex mill have been sold or shut down. Negotiations on shutting down the Alizay mill and restructuring the Gohrsmühle mill have been completed and the measures are progressing as planned.  

Metsä Board’s operating result for the second quarter of 2012, excluding non-recurring items, is expected to improve from the first quarter of 2012.

Disclosure procedure

Metsä Board Corporation follows the disclosure procedure enabled by Standard 5.2b published by the Finnish Financial Supervision Authority and hereby publishes its Interim Report for January-March 2012 enclosed to this stock exchange release. Metsä Board's complete Interim Report is attached to this release in pdf-format and is also available on the company's web site at www.metsaboard.com.

 

METSÄ BOARD CORPORATION

Further information:
Matti Mörsky, CFO, tel. +358 (0)10 465 4913
Juha Laine, Vice President, Investor Relations and Communications, tel. +358 (0)10 465 4335


More information will be available starting from 1 p.m. on 3 May 2012. A conference call held in English for investors and analysts starts at 3 p.m. (EET). Conference call participants are requested to dial in and register a few minutes prior to the start of the conference call on the following numbers:

Europe: +44 (0)20 7162 0025
US: +1 334 323 6201

The conference ID is 915653.

  

Metsä Board is Europe’s leading producer of fresh forest fibre cartonboards, the world’s leading manufacturer of coated white-top kraftliners, and a major paper supplier. It offers premium solutions for consumer and retail packaging, graphics and office end-uses. The company’s sales network serves brand owners, carton printers, corrugated packaging manufacturers, printers, merchants and office suppliers. Metsä Board is part of Metsä Group and is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. In 2011, Metsä Board’s sales totalled EUR 2.5 billion. Metsä Board has approximately 3,800 employees.

www.metsaboard.com

 

About Us

Metsä Boardwww.metsaboard.com Metsä Board is a leading European producer of premium fresh fibre paperboards including folding boxboards, food service boards and white kraftliners. Our lightweight paperboards are developed to provide better, safer and more sustainable solutions for consumer goods as well as retail-ready and food service applications. We work together with our customers on a global scale to innovate solutions for better consumer experiences with less environmental impact. The pure fresh fibres Metsä Board uses are a renewable resource, traceable to origin in sustainably managed northern forests. The global sales network of Metsä Board supports customers worldwide, including brand owners, retailers, converters and merchants. In 2016, the company’s sales totalled EUR 1.7 billion, and it has approximately 2,500 employees. Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki.

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