Billerud reports improved operating profit in the first quarter despite continued difficult market situation
Today Billerud presented the results for January – March 2009. Net turnover increased by 11% compared to the fourth quarter 2008 and operating loss decreased by MSEK 128, from MSEK -165 to MSEK -37. An improved order situation increased delivered volumes by 12% compared to the fourth quarter 2008.
Billerud’s CEO Per Lindberg comments:
“The operating loss for the first quarter was MSEK -37, which was an improvement on the loss of the fourth quarter of 2008, which was MSEK-165. Despite making a loss and the continued difficult market situation with major uncertainty about the future, we were pleased with some bright spots in the first quarter. An improved order situation and the launch of new products meant that market-related production stops, like the ones carried out in the fourth quarter of 2008, have not been necessary, and this meant that our sales volumes could increase by 12%. Falling wood prices and our own cost savings meant that both fixed and volume-adjusted variable costs were lower than the previous quarter. We have also reduced our financial risk going forward by refinancing and extending our syndicated loan.
Through the acquisition in February of Tenova Bioplastics we have introduced essential competence to our development of packaging solutions for our customers based on renewable and biologically degradable material. Work aimed at strengthening our competence in our niche markets is already bearing fruit as it is easier to maintain volumes and profitability with customers we have deeper co-operation with.
We have thereby completed the first round of the challenging new business climate and we are ready to continue doing what is needed to meet the remaining challenges, before we get back to more normal business conditions.”
Stockholm 28 April 2009
Billerud AB (publ)
President and CEO
For further information please see full interim report Jan-March 2009 at www.billerud.com/reports or contact
Per Lindberg, president and CEO, +46 8 553 335 01 or +46 70 248 15 17
Bertil Carlsén, CFO, +46 8 553 335 07 or +46 73 021 10 92