UPM’s Q1 profitability improved on Q4, strong operating cash flow continued

UPM-KYMMENE CORPORATION  STOCK EXCHANGE RELEASE     26 APRIL 2012 AT 9.30 EET

  • Earnings per share excluding special items were EUR 0.22 (Q1/2011: 0.32), and reported EUR 0.22 (0.33)
  • EBITDA was EUR 347 million, 13.4% of sales (379 million, 16.1% of sales)
  • Variable costs decreased and the Myllykoski cost synergies started to be visible
  • Operating cash flow was EUR 210 million (166 million), net debt reduced by EUR 136 million from Q4 2011

 

Key figures     
 
Q1/2012 Q1/2011            Q4/2011 Q1–Q4/2011
Sales, EURm 2,591 2,356 2,686 10,068
EBITDA, EURm 1) 347 379 301                1,383
% of sales 13.4 16.1 11.2 13.7
Operating profit (loss), EURm    155 198 131 459
excluding special items, EURm    151 198 147 682
% of sales 5.8 8.4 5.5 6.8
Profit (loss) before tax, EURm    141 195 94 417
excluding special items, EURm  137 195 110 572
Net profit (loss) for the period, EURm    117 169 102 457
Earnings per share, EUR 0.22 0.33 0.20 0.88
excluding special items, EUR 0.22 0.32 0.16 0.93
Operating cash flow per share, EUR 0.40 0.32 0.59 1.99
Shareholders’ equity per share at end of period, EUR 13.77 13.87 14.22 14.22
Gearing ratio at end of period, %   48 44 48 48
Net interest-bearing liabilities at end of period, EURm 3,456 3,197 3,592 3,592

1) EBITDA is operating profit before depreciation, amortisation and impairment charges, excluding the change in value of biological assets, excluding the share of results of associated companies and joint ventures, and special items.

Jussi Pesonen, President and CEO, comments the first quarter of 2012:

“Despite the seasonally weak first quarter, we managed to improve the profitability of our operations from the level of the second half of 2011. By decreasing costs and maintaining stable pricing across UPM businesses we were able to improve our performance. We were also able to maintain a solid cash flow throughout the quarter.  

Even though the low profitability of the European paper industry as a whole is unacceptable, our paper business is heading to the right direction. The Myllykoski integration proceeded as planned and we could already see the first material cost synergies. Consolidation and the consequent streamlining of costs is the most efficient way to improve the cost competiveness of this industry.

In Paper business, we prioritised margin over volumes and our total sales margin in euro terms was maintained despite decreasing deliveries. Variable costs are expected to start increasing slightly later in the year underlining the importance of our continued attention to margin management.

In Pulp business profitability recovered, demonstrating the competitiveness of our pulp assets in all market conditions. Also Energy and Label businesses continued with strong performance.

Our view for the first half of the year has moderately improved and therefore we estimate that the operating profit for the first half of the year excluding special items is estimated to be slightly up compared to second half of last year.

During the quarter we completed the divestment of the RFID business. The sale of packaging paper to Billerud is in the regulatory process and we look forward to completing the sale in the second quarter. In April, we concluded the sale of the remaining shares of Metsä-Fibre (Botnia) completing the journey started in 2009. We are also expecting a PVO dividend payment related to the sale of Fingrid assets to materialise during the second quarter.

All this will positively contribute to our balance sheet. UPM’s financial position is strong; we can maintain competitive operations and at the same time implement growth initiatives,” says Pesonen.


Outlook for 2012

Global economic growth is expected to continue in 2012. In Europe, however, economic growth is weak and uncertainty persists.

In UPM’s businesses, market conditions have stabilised in the early part of 2012, after deteriorating during the second half of 2011. The short term demand and price outlook for UPM’s products is broadly stable in Q2 2012 compared to Q1 2012, taking into account seasonal variations.
 

UPM’s cost level decreased in Q1 2012 and is expected to stay broadly on the same level during Q2 2012. Variable costs are expected to start increasing later during the year. The realisation of the Myllykoski cost synergies is expected to continue as planned, and more than EUR 100 million cost synergies are expected to contribute to UPM’s full-year 2012 results.

Operating profit excluding special items in the first half of 2012 is expected to be slightly higher than in the second half of 2011. Earlier, UPM expected its operating profit in the first half of 2012 to be at around the same level as in the second half of 2011. Capital expenditure for 2012 is forecast to be around EUR 350 million.

The full outlook is available in the Interim report.
 

For more information please contact:

Mr Jussi Pesonen, President and CEO, UPM, tel. +358 204 15 0001

Mr Tapio Korpeinen, CFO, UPM, tel. +358 204 15 0004

Webcast and press conference:

UPM's President and CEO Jussi Pesonen will present the Interim Report in a conference call and webcast for analysts and investors, held in English language, on 26 April at 13:00 Finnish time (11:00 BST, 06:00 EST).

Later in the afternoon, UPM's President and CEO Jussi Pesonen will present the Interim Report in a press conference held in Finnish language at UPM Group Head Office in Helsinki (main entrance, Eteläesplanadi 2) on 26 April, at 14:15 Finnish time (12:15 BST, 07:15 EST).


Conference call and webcast details:

The conference call can be participated either by dialing a number in the list below or following the webcast online at www.upm.com. Only participants who wish to ask questions in the conference call need to dial in. All participants can view the webcast presentation online.

We recommend that participants start dialing in 5-10 minutes prior to ensure a timely start to the conference.


Conference call title: UPM-Kymmene Corporation Interim Report January-March 2012

Conference ID: 914123

Phone numbers:

Participant - US: +1 334 323 6201

Participant - Australia LC: +61 (0)28 2239 543

Participant - Hong Kong LC: +852 300 278 26

Participant - Japan LC: +81 (3)45 8001 94

Participant - Malaysia LC: +60 (0)37 7124 471

Participant - New Zealand LC: +64 (0)99 1924 18

Participant - Singapore LC: +65 6823 2169

Participant - South Korea LC: +82 (0)23 4831 070

Participant - Taiwan LC: +886 (0)22 1626 701

Participant - Austria: +43 (0)268 2205 6292

Participant - Belgium: +32 (0)2 290 14 07

Participant - Czech Republic: +420 (2)3900 0635

Participant - Denmark: +45 3271 4607

Participant - Finland: +358 (0)9 2313 9201

Participant - France: +33 (0)1 7099 3208

Participant - Germany: +49 (0)695 8999 0507

Participant - Hungary: +36 (0)618 8932 15

Participant - Ireland: +353 (0)1 4364 106

Participant - Italy: +39 023 0350 9003

Participant - Luxembourg: +352 270 0073 408

Participant - Netherlands: +31 (0)20 7965 008

Participant - Norway: +47 2156 312 0

Participant - Spain: +34 917 889 507

Participant - Sweden: +46 (0)8 5052 0110

Participant - Switzerland (Geneva): +41 (0)2 2592 7007

Participant - Switzerland (Zurich): +41 (0)434 5692 61

Participant - UK: +44 (0)20 7162 0077


The webcast can be replayed at www.upm.com for 12 months.

 

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It should be noted that certain statements herein, which are not historical facts, including, without limitation, those regarding expectations for market growth and developments; expectations for growth and profitability; and statements preceded by “believes”, “expects”, “anticipates”, “foresees”, or similar expressions, are forward-looking statements. Since these statements are based on current plans, estimates and projections, they involve risks and uncertainties which may cause actual results to materially differ from those expressed in such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: (1) operating factors such as continued success of manufacturing activities and the achievement of efficiencies therein including the availability and cost of production inputs, continued success of product development, acceptance of new products or services by the Group’s targeted customers, success of the existing and future collaboration arrangements, changes in business strategy or development plans or targets, changes in the degree of protection created by the Group’s patents and other intellectual property rights, the availability of capital on acceptable terms; (2) industry conditions, such as strength of product demand, intensity of competition, prevailing and future global market prices for the Group’s products and the pricing pressures thereto, financial condition of the customers and the competitors of the Group, the potential introduction of competing products and technologies by competitors; and (3) general economic conditions, such as rates of economic growth in the Group’s principal geographic markets or fluctuations in exchange and interest rates. For more detailed information about risk factors, see pages 103–105 of the company’s annual report 2011.

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UPM-Kymmene Corporation
Pirkko Harrela
Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications

UPM, Corporate Communications
Media Desk, tel. +358 40 588 3284

media@upm.com
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