Interim report Jan-Sept 2009: Pulp price increases and better demand improved Botnia's third quarter result

During the first nine months of the year, Botnia's sales for continuous
operations fell by approximately 34% compared to the corresponding period last
year, amounting to EUR 614.0 million (EUR 929.1 million in January-September
2008). Pulp sales volume was approximately 16% weaker than during the
corresponding period last year, amounting to 1,486,600 tonnes. 

The operating result without non-recurring items was EUR -124.7 million,
showing a clear decline from the corresponding period last year (EUR 72.3
million). The most significant factors weakening the result were the sharp
decline in the market situation and price of pulp. The result was also reduced
by production curtailment shutdowns at all the mills in Finland. The result for
the Uruguayan discontinued operations was EUR 22.6 million (EUR 133.3 million
January-September 2008). 

Compared to the previous quarter, Botnia's result for continuous operations
improved slightly. Sales in the third quarter amounted to EUR 218.4 million,
which was more than 11% higher than sales in the second quarter of the current
year (EUR 196.6 million). The operating result of the third quarter also
improved slightly, amounting to EUR -19.9 million (EUR -53.2 million April-June
2009). The result of the third quarter for discontinued operations was EUR 18.1
million (EUR 5.9 million April-June 2009). 

Pulp supply and demand were in balance during the third quarter. In certain
areas, there was shortage of hardwood pulp, and the delivery situation was
tight. Pulp inventories remained at a low level around the world. 

The reopening of closed mills in Canada and Finland are casting a shadow over
the near-term market outlook. In addition, the measures implemented by the USA
and Canada to support their domestic pulp industry offer local companies a
competitive edge. 

Metsäliitto Group signed a letter of intent on 15 July 2009 concerning the sale
of Botnia's Uruguayan operations to UPM-Kymmene Oyj. The companies also agreed
that UPM would reduce its ownership in Metsä-Botnia to approximately 17 per
cent, with Metsäliitto getting a majority share in the company. The transaction
is expected to be closed in the last quarter of 2009. 

>>Read more from the enclosed Interim Report

    * Sales EUR 614.0 million in January-September 2009 (EUR 929.1 million in
      January-September 2008) 
    * Operating profit excluding non-recurring items EUR -124.7 million 
      (EUR 72.3   million) 
      Operating profit including non-recurring items EUR -199.7 million 
      (EUR 72.3  million) 
    * Profit before taxes and excluding non-recurring items EUR -125.0 million 
      (EUR  65.4 million) 
    * Investments EUR 7.7 million (EUR 16.7 million) 
    * Return on capital employed excluding non-recurring items -20.0% (11.0 %) 
      Return on capital employed including non-recurring items -32.0 % (11.0 %) 
    * Equity ratio 61.9 % (63.0 %) 
    * Net gearing 35.3 % (34.2 %)

About Us

Metsä Metsä Fibre is a leading producer of bioproducts and bioenergy. The company’s pulp brand is Botnia and the sawn timber brand is Metsä Nordic Timber. The company’s bleached softwood and birch pulp grades have been developed for the production of high-quality board, tissue and printing paper and speciality products. The main applications for spruce and pine sawn timber are products for construction and interior decoration as well as window and door joinery and raw material for packaging industry. Currently employing approximately 1 200 people, the company’s sales totalled EUR 1.9 billion in 2017. Metsä Fibre is part of Metsä Group.