Stora Enso CEO Jouko Karvinen comments on fourth quarter and full year 2010 results announced today


“We at Stora Enso finished 2010 with a positive tone. Product pricing continued to improve and we beat the run-rate improvement target for fixed costs set in our Next Step programme announced in spring 2009. The increase in maintenance costs compared with the third quarter, especially in Consumer Board and Magazine Paper, did burden our earnings in this particular quarter, but it was well within our own plans.

“The accelerating variable cost inflation was a focus point for us and will remain so in 2011. The hard work to improve our productivity and our accomplishments in recent years have made us stronger and confident to tackle the challenges in 2011 and beyond. We also see continuing momentum to improved pricing during the first quarter of 2011, especially in newsprint and magazine paper.

“Since the planned acquisition of Inpac in the fastest-growing consumer packaging markets of China and India announced in the fourth quarter of 2010, we have announced further significant strategic investments in 2011. We will build a new containerboard machine in Poland to improve our cost position, product offering and self-sufficiency to support our business in the growth markets of Eastern Europe; and together with our partner Arauco we launched the investment in a world-class pulp mill in Uruguay. Our Wood Products Business Area has also just announced specific actions to grow in the high-value-added multi-storey wooden building business. Those are steps in creating the new future of Stora Enso as a global renewable materials company with a clear focus on growth markets and businesses with sustainable competitive returns.

“With the announced investments, I believe it is more important than ever to stay on our never-ending path of improving our existing businesses, whether it be business mix, costs, productivity or customer support improvements. Only that will give us, and our shareholders, the confidence to invest in our new future. Building the new future will take a few years, but it will also give us an opportunity to make our earnings clearly more dependent on our own actions, and less on external uncontrollable factors.

“The short-term market outlook for the first quarter of 2011 is generally positive, even though demand will remain below pre-financial-crisis levels in most paper grades and wood products. Earnings are expected to improve due to the better cost position and pricing in the first quarter of 2011 compared with the fourth quarter 2010.”

For further information, please contact:
Jouko Karvinen, CEO, tel. +358 2046 21410
Lauri Peltola, Head of Communications and Global Responsibility, tel. +358 2046 21380
Ulla Paajanen-Sainio, Head of Investor Relations, tel. +358 2046 21242

Stora Enso is a global paper, packaging and wood products company producing newsprint and book paper, magazine paper, fine paper, consumer board, industrial packaging and wood products. The Group is the world leader in forest industry sustainability. We offer our customers solutions based on renewable raw materials. Our products provide a climate-friendly alternative to many non-renewable materials, and have a smaller carbon footprint. Stora Enso is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and the FTSE4Good Index. Stora Enso employs some 26 000 people worldwide, and our sales in 2010 amounted to EUR 10.3 billion. Stora Enso shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki (STEAV, STERV) and Stockholm (STE A, STE R). In addition, the shares are traded in the USA as ADRs (SEOAY) in the International OTCQX over-the-counter market.