(UPM, Helsinki, 22 March 2010 at 15:15) – UPM's President and CEO Jussi Pesonen stated today in the company's Annual General Meeting that demand is recovering in UPM's main markets and signs of increased investment activity are emerging.
"Chemical pulp market and prices have been stronger than anticipated. Demand for pulp in China has been on a good level already for some time and the consequences of the natural catastrophe in Chile are further impacting the market situation."
"The prices for fine and speciality papers have increased due to good demand and increased cost of pulp. However, the significant decline in newsprint and magazine grade prices materialised."
"The stevedores' strike in Finland caused significant costs and loss of revenue, the main impact of which will affect March and April 2010. The estimated direct daily costs will remain below EUR 3 million, as we were able to have part of our production running throughout the strike. For example our pulp mills and speciality paper machines remained operating."
Pesonen said in the Annual General Meeting that UPM is moving on to a new development phase. "Our productivity has undergone vital increase during the last five years. Our production units and operating processes are now efficient and modern. We cannot identify needs for major structural changes in the company in the foreseeable future. Continuous improvement and cost efficiency continue to be part of our everyday operations but strategic initiatives and building on UPM's strengths will be clearly more our focus."
The CEO’s presentation in the AGM is available on ONE.UPM and at www.upm.com > Investor Relations.