Continued evidence of strength in third-quarter
CEO Per Lindberg comments on the development during Q3 2014:
“Our performance in the third quarter was very strong and I am pleased to see an adjusted operating margin for the quarter at 10% and an adjusted operating profit level of SEK 518 million. The quarter contained maintenance shutdowns at three of our production units with a negative impact on profits of approximately SEK 227 million. Year on year our net sales has grown 5% and our sales volume has grown 4%. We have reduced our debts significantly thanks to a strong cash flow and our Net debt/equity ratio is now down to 0.73.
In spite of an uncertain global environment, the overall market for packaging materials has been good for all business areas during the quarter with stable prices and demand. Business area Packaging Paper has kept the prices stable and is seeing opportunities to raise prices for some of the segments in speciality kraft papers. Business area Containerboard has, as expected, experienced pressure from the increased market capacity on the liner side which is reflected in lower sales volume but with continued strong margins. Business area Consumer Board shows stability with sales volumes growing better than planned, 5% compared to last year.
After several consecutive quarters with improved performance, we are temporarily seeing some challenges in the fourth quarter. December will be very short from a delivery perspective and business areas Packaging Paper and Consumer Board both anticipates a seasonal volume decrease. Containerboard continues on a lower than normal volume level for liner in the fourth quarter due to increased market capacity.
During the third quarter we have announced investments in line with our asset review and long term strategy. We are growing in accordance with our profitable growth plans, 4% compared to last year. We have now reached our synergy targets well ahead of plan. Even if we now close our synergy program, we will continue our efforts with driving profit improvements in our daily work to improve our efficiency and operational excellence. We see great opportunities to still learn from each other within the organisation and to create value for our customers, shareholders and employees.’’