Metsä Board’s comparable operating result in January–June 2019 was EUR 103 million

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Metsä Board Corporation Half-Year Financial Report 1 January – 30 June 2019, 1 August 2019

January–June 2019 (1–6/2018)

• Sales were EUR 964.2 million (1,011.1).

• Comparable operating result was EUR 102.8 million (128.2), or 10.7% (12.7%) of sales. Operating result was EUR 118.3 million (122.6).

• Comparable earnings per share were EUR 0.23 (0.28), and earnings per share were EUR 0.27 (0.27).

Comparable return on capital employed was 11.7% (15.1%).

April–June 2019 (1–3/2019)

• Sales were EUR 477.1 million (487.1).

• Comparable operating result was EUR 41.0 million (61.8), or 8.6% (12.7%) of sales. Operating result was EUR 46.4 million (71.9).

• Comparable earnings per share were EUR 0.09 (0.14), and earnings per share were EUR 0.10 (0.17).

• Comparable return on capital employed was 9.7% (14.4%).

Events in April–June 2019

• Deliveries of paperboard increased slightly from the previous quarter.

• The prices of folding boxboard were stable. Changes in the sales mix had a negative effect on the average price of white kraftliner.

• The global decline in pulp prices had a clear negative impact on the result.

• Several annual maintenance shutdowns took place at Metsä Board’s mills in Finland during the second quarter, while there were no annual maintenance shutdowns at Metsä Board’s mills during the first quarter.

• Metsä Board renewed its folding boxboard portfolio and announced that it would establish an excellence centre focusing on paperboard and packaging innovations in Äänekoski.

• Metsä Board launched pre-engineering phase for an investment to renew the Husum pulp mill in Sweden in phases. The size of the first-phase investment would be approximately EUR 300 million.

• Metsä Board’s associated company Metsä Fibre launched pre-engineering phases for the construction of a new bioproduct mill in Kemi, Finland, and for the construction of a new pine sawmill in Rauma, Finland. If these investments are implemented, their total size would be around EUR 1.7 billion.

• Camilla Wikström, M.Sc. (Eng.), was appointed Metsä Board’s SVP, Human Resources and a member of the Corporate Management Team as of 1 June 2019.

Events after the review period

Metsä Board announced its sustainability targets for 2030. One of the company’s targets is to use only fossil-free energy at its own mills and in terms of purchased energy by 2030. More information about new sustainability targets is available at

Result guidance for July–September 2019

Metsä Board’s comparable operating result for the third quarter of 2019 is expected to weaken compared with the second quarter of 2019.

Metsä Board’s CEO Mika Joukio:

“Our comparable operating result in April–June was EUR 41 million, which was weaker than in the first quarter, as expected. The result was burdened by the continued weakening of the pulp market and several planned annual maintenance shutdowns at our mills in Finland. Metsä Board’s total paperboard deliveries increased slightly. The demand and price levels for folding boxboard remained stable. In the Americas, we have achieved good results by optimising sales mix, and the average price of our folding boxboard has improved significantly in this region within a year. The weaker linerboard market, particularly in Europe, has slightly affected the average price of our white kraftliner sales in comparison with last year.

Our comparable operating result in January–June was EUR 103 million. Our operating result was supported by the favourable price development of paperboards, particularly folding boxboard, as well as a favourable foreign exchange effect. However, our profitability was burdened by lower delivery volumes, higher production costs and by the decline in pulp prices that started in China in autumn 2018 and later spread into Europe. Our profitability will continue to be burdened by lower pulp prices, at least during the coming months.

In April, we announced that we will launch a pre-engineering phase for a significant investment to gradually renew the Husum pulp mill in Sweden. The renewal would improve the cost-efficiency and reliability of production of the Husum integrated mill, as well as increase electricity generation based on renewable sources of energy. In addition, it would create favourable conditions for the long-term development of the paperboard capacity of the Husum integrated mill. We are now waiting for the Swedish authorities’ decision on continuing our current environmental permit for the production of up to 750,000 tonnes of pulp annually. We expect to make the final investment decision in the fourth quarter of this year, at the earliest.

After the review period, we announced our new, ambitious sustainability targets for 2030. We will continue our work towards a low-carbon society, and we aim for completely fossil-free production, together with Metsä Group by 2030. We will also continue our work to develop plastic-free barrier solutions for food service use in particular.

Early into the second half of the year, there is still uncertainty concerning the operating environment, particularly in terms of pulp and linerboards. However, the market situation for folding boxboard is favourable, according to many our customers as well. In addition, we have received a great deal of positive feedback from our customers on our recently renewed and improved folding boxboard portfolio.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our employees, customers and other stakeholders for the first half of 2019.”

Financial key figures

2019 2019 2018 2018    2019    2018    2018
Q2 Q1 Q2 Q1 Q1–Q2 Q1–Q2 Q1–Q4
Sales, EUR million 477.1 487.1 518.7 492.3 964.2 1,011.1 1,944,1
EBITDA, EUR million 73.6 99.3 78.5 94.3 172.9 172.7 338.2
comparable, EUR million 68.1 89.3 84.1 94.3 157.5 178.4 343.8
EBITDA, % of sales 15.4 20.4 15.1 19.2 17.9 17.1 17.4
comparable, % of sales 14.3 18.3 16.2 19.2 16.3 17.6 17.7
Operating result, EUR million 46.4 71.9 53.6 69.0 118.3 122.6 246.3
comparable, EUR million 41.0 61.8 59.2 69.0 102.8 128.2 251.9
Operating result, % of sales 9.7 14.8 10.3 14.0 12.3 12.1 12.7
comparable, % of sales 8.6 12.7 11.4 14.0 10.7 12.7 13.0
Result before taxes, EUR million 41.9 67.9 47.8 61.0 109.8 108.8 224.2
comparable, EUR million 36.4 57.9 53.5 61.0 94.3 114.5 229.7
Result for the period, EUR million 36.3 59.6 41.8 53.9 95.9 95.7 203.4
comparable, EUR million 31.9 50.2 46.2 53.9 82.2 100.1 207.8
Earnings per share, EUR 0.10 0.17 0.12 0.15 0.27 0.27 0.57
comparable, EUR 0.09 0.14 0.13 0.15 0.23 0.28 0.58
Return on equity, % 11.4 18.4 14.4 18.7 14.7 16.3 16.3
comparable, % 10.0 15.5 15.9 18.7 12.6 17.0 16.7
Return on capital employed, % 10.9 16.7 12.6 15.8 13.4 14.4 14.0
comparable, % 9.7 14.4 13.9 15.8 11.7 15.1 14.4
Equity ratio at the end of period, % 57 56 55 50 57 55 58
Net gearing ratio at the end of period, % 30 23 33 29 30 33 25
Interest-bearing net liabilities/comparable EBITDA 1.2 0.9 1.2 1.1 1.2 1.2 1.0
Shareholder’s equity per share at the end of period, EUR 3.60 3.57 3.32 3.21 3.60 3.32 3.72
Interest-bearing net liabilities, EUR million 380.2 296.6 388.1 334.7 380.2 388.1 334.6
Gross investments, EUR million 17.9 6.4 15.3 10.5 24.3 25.7 70.3
Net cash flow from operations, EUR million 30.7 36.4 36.3 30.2 67.1 66.6 150.9
Personnel at the end of period 2,591 2,382 2,578 2,402 2,591 2,578 2,352

Near-term outlook

Metsä Board’s paperboard deliveries in the third quarter are expected to be roughly at the same level as in the second quarter of the year.

The prices of folding boxboard are expected to remain stable. The market situation for linerboards is more uncertain which may have an impact on the average prices of Metsä Board’s kraftliner in the third quarter.

The development of the global pulp market remains uncertain over the short term. However, the production curtailments announced by some pulp producers, as well as annual maintenance shutdowns scheduled for the third quarter, will balance the ratio between demand and supply. Producers’ global stock levels continue to be high. The decrease in long-fibre pulp prices has stopped in China. In Europe, market prices decreased throughout the first half of the year, which will have a negative effect on the result of the second half of the year.

Annual maintenance shutdowns are scheduled for the third quarter at the Kemi integrated mill and Metsä Fibre’s pulp mill in Rauma. The annual maintenance shutdown at the Husum integrated mill will begin at the end of September and end at the beginning of October, meaning that its negative impact on the result will be divided between the third and fourth quarters.

Production costs are expected to remain stable.

Changes in exchange rates, including the impact of hedges, during the third quarter will have a neutral effect compared with the second quarter and a clearly positive effect compared with the corresponding period in the previous year.


Espoo, Finland, 1 August 2019


Further information:

Jussi Noponen, CFO tel. +358 10 465 4913

Katri Sundström, VP, Investor Relations, tel. +358 10 462 0101  

Further information will be available as of 1 p.m. on 1 August 2019.  

A conference call held for investors and analysts in English will begin at 3 p.m. Conference call participants are requested to dial in and register a few minutes earlier on the following numbers: Finland +358 9 7479 0361 Sweden +46 8 5033 6574 United Kingdom +44 330 336 9105 United States +1 323-794-2093

The conference ID is 5218128.          

Metsä Board

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 2018, the company’s sales totalled EUR 1.9 billion, and it has approximately 2,400 employees. Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki.

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