ROTTNEROS INTERIM REPORT JANUARY – JUNE 2017
STRONG QUARTER WITH HIGH PRODUCTION AND GOOD PERFORMANCE
- Production volume for the second quarter rose by 1% compared with the second quarter of 2016, despite the unplanned shutdown at Vallvik Mill, which entailed a production loss of about 4,500 tonnes. Rottneros Mill set a new quarterly production record once again.
- Delivery volume for the second quarter rose by 7% compared with second quarter 2016.
- Investments in the Agenda 500 development programme are progressing according to plan, in terms of both cost and increased capacity.
- Rottneros Packaging is starting commercial production of fibre trays and will build a new production line.
- Shareholders were paid a dividend of SEK 61 million in the second quarter.
- Net turnover for the second quarter rose by 14% to SEK 472 million (413). For January-June, net turnover was SEK 944 million (845).
- Profit after financial items for the second quarter totalled SEK 62 million (56) and for January-June SEK 118 million (125). Earnings per share for January-June were SEK 0.60 (0.65).
- Cash flow from operating activities for the second quarter totalled SEK 53 million (52).
- The list price for NBSK pulp over the second quarter was 8% higher in USD and 16% higher in SEK, compared with second quarter 2016. Compared with first quarter 2017, the price level in SEK was 4% higher.
COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT: YET ANOTHER QUARTER WITH PRODUCTION OVER 100 THOUSAND TONNES
During the second quarter, the underlying trend of rising production rates continued in our mills. Operating profit increased by SEK 5 million despite some negative effects from unplanned items. We can see that the extensive investments within the framework of the Agenda 500 programme are paying off in higher volumes, even though the unplanned shutdown at Vallvik held back growth for the quarter as a whole. We steadfastly continue to take a structured approach to further improve safety and increase capacity utilization, thereby sustainably increasing volumes in our niches.
Production rose by 1 per cent in the Group to 101,400 tonnes compared with last year’s second quarter, despite the negative impact of 4.5 per cent from the unplanned shutdown at Vallvik. In May, however, the mill achieved a record volume for a single month at the same time that Rottneros Mill demonstrated the highest production ever for a single quarter. These achievements confirm that we continue to clearly move upwards on the volume curve. Meanwhile, more remains to be done to increase availability and production in the future.
Our goal-oriented efforts are also paying off in terms of operating profit, which rose by SEK 5 million compared with the second quarter last year to SEK 62 million, despite the negative impact of certain unplanned items amounting to approximately SEK 5 million and primarily related to the production shutdown at Vallvik. Conflict actions among social partners at the Port of Gothenburg also had a negative impact.
Continued stable market
The market continues to be stable with a good balance between supply and demand and we are cautiously optimistic in the run-up to the third quarter. At the end of the second quarter, the NBSK list price was USD 890, up about 7 per cent. However, new volumes coming from several Nordic players in the second half of the year and 2018 may have a negative impact on the market balance in the future.
Our development area, Rottneros Packaging, is now approaching start of construction for the new production line for bio-based food trays in Sunne. Demand in the sustainable packaging solutions market is robust and we are optimistic about the development potential of this new segment.
Key new hire at Vallvik
The hiring of Michael Berggren as head of Vallvik Mill represents an important step for the further development of the mill. Although we have come a long way, much remains to be done in the development of the organisation. A constant effort to improve skills is crucial for increasing availability at the mills and leveraging our investments.
Within the framework for the Agenda 500 programme, the Board of Directors has approved a total of approximately SEK 620 million, of which approximately SEK 460 million has been spent on implementing measures to date and measures for the remaining approximately SEK 160 million will be implemented in 2017 and 2018. The company has good liquidity. As previously announced, we are working with an extended long-term funding strategy, which ensures our ability to carry out the investment programme while changing the capital structure.
Planning for the autumn maintenance shutdown is in full swing. Rottneros Mill carries out its shutdown in September and Vallvik plans to stop production in the beginning of the fourth quarter. The estimated cost of these shutdowns is SEK 10 million and SEK 55 million, respectively.
We were pleased to see so many shareholders at the Annual General Meeting in Söderhamn. The opportunity to see our new investments at the tour of the mill in Vallvik definitely contributed to the strong attendance.
In summary, it is clear that we have established a new level of availability and production volumes at the mills, creating continued growth opportunities, especially in our selected niches. Our focus is to continually optimise the factors we can influence, regardless of external factors. This is particularly important in light of potentially rising costs for our inputs such as wood and electricity in the future. We are becoming better equipped for the future, in terms of both meeting potential challenges and taking advantage of our opportunities.
(For full report, please see attached file)
This information is information that Rottneros AB is obliged to publish under the EU Market Abuse Regulation and the Securities Market Act. This information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact person set out below, on 16 August 2017 at 8:00 a.m. A Swedish and an English version of this report have been drawn up. The Swedish version shall prevail in the event of differences between the two reports.
For further information, please contact:
Lennart Eberleh, CEO and President, Rottneros AB, +46 270 622 65
Rottneros is an independent producer of market pulp. The Group comprises the parent company Rottneros AB, listed on NASDAQ Stockholm, and its subsidiaries Rottneros Bruk AB and Vallviks Bruk AB with operations involving the production and sale of market pulp. The Group also includes Rottneros Packaging AB, which manufactures fibre trays, and the wood procurement company Rottneros Baltic SIA in Latvia. The Group has just over 280 employees and had a turnover of approximately SEK 1.7 billion in the 2016 financial year.