UPM-Kymmene Corporation Interim Report 24 October 2018 at 09:55 EET
UPM Interim Report Q3/2018: Strong quarter sets a new benchmark for UPM's performance
Q3 2018 highlights
Q1-Q3 2018 highlights
Jussi Pesonen, President and CEO, comments on Q3 results:
"The third quarter was excellent and sets a new benchmark for our performance. Our customer demand continued to be healthy and we were able to increase sales prices in nearly all businesses. In five of our six business areas, the price increases were sufficient to cover the impact of higher input costs. Our business model continues to deliver results.
Our sales grew by 6% and comparable EBIT increased by 20% to EUR 420 million. Our comparable EBIT margin reached 15.9% illustrating well our current performance level compared to the first half of the year. Operating cash flow was strong and our balance sheet was practically debt-free at the end of the quarter.
The biggest improver was UPM Biorefining, which achieved record quarterly earnings. Pulp, Biofuels and Timber all achieved higher prices. Biofuels reached a new level of production after the turnaround shutdown in Q2. However, our pulp deliveries were held back by temporary production issues at the Fray Bentos mill, where thunderstorms caused four production shutdowns during the quarter.
UPM Communication Papers overcame higher input costs and lower deliveries with higher pricing and reported good, stable earnings. Unfortunate turbine damage and downtime at the Plattling mill caused extra costs, particularly as electricity prices were high. UPM Energy benefitted from the higher electricity prices, and increased its earnings even though dry weather limited our hydropower generation.
UPM Raflatac and UPM Plywood performed steadily. They were able to raise sales prices and offset the cost increases. Both also encountered some headwind from unfavourable currencies.
UPM Specialty Papers experienced a negative earnings development despite solid demand. The main reason for this was the continued increase in pulp costs. In label papers we were able to raise prices, but not sufficiently to fully compensate for the increase in pulp costs. In fine papers, prices decreased due to additional market supply in China.
Our transformative prospects provide us with unique and exciting opportunities for significant long-term earnings growth. In Uruguay, preparations for the potential new world-class pulp mill are proceeding. The rail tendering process is in its final stages and the port concession tendering has started. UPM has submitted the Environmental and Social Impact Study for the mill to the authorities. Engaging in active dialogue with local stakeholders has been an important part of the process. Next we expect tangible progress in infrastructure construction and labour protocols.
Preparations are also ongoing in our attractive biomolecular businesses. In UPM Biochemicals, we are continuing the basic engineering work for the potential first industrial-scale biochemical refinery in Germany. In UPM Biofuels, we completed the Environmental Impact Assessment for a possible Kotka Biorefinery in Finland and submitted it to the authorities for their final conclusions.
Overall, UPM is in great shape and ready to grasp the limitless opportunities that bioeconomy offers for value creation and business growth. We believe that growing sustainable businesses can offer solutions to the global challenges such as resource scarcity and climate change. During the quarter, our responsible business conduct as well as our efforts to deliver responsible solutions were recognized by United Nations Global Compact and Dow Jones Sustainability Indices. Our innovations create value and business opportunities for an era when the world is no longer dependent on fossils."
UPM's comparable EBIT is expected to continue growing in 2018 compared with 2017. H2 2018 comparable EBIT is expected to be significantly higher compared with H1 2018.
The fundamentals for UPM businesses in 2018 are favourable. Sales price increases in 2018 are expected to outweigh the increase in variable costs, compared with 2017.
Webcast and press conference
UPM's President and CEO Jussi Pesonen will present the financial results in a webcast and a conference call for analysts and investors, held in English language, today at 13:15 EET.
Later in the afternoon, Jussi Pesonen will present the results in a press conference held in Finnish language at the UPM Group Head Office (The Biofore House) in Helsinki, Alvar Aallon katu 1, at 14:30 EET.
Webcast and conference call details:
The conference call can be participated in either by dialling a number in the list below or following the webcast online at www.upm.com or through this link.
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 dialling in 5-10 minutes prior to the event in order to ensure a timely start of the webcast.
The presentation is available at www.upm.com for 12 months after the call.
Conference call title: UPM Interim Report for January - September 2018
International telephone numbers with a pin code 88699264#
Australia Toll: +61 284058549 Austria Toll: +43 19287907 Belgium Toll: +32 24035814 Denmark Toll: +45 35445577 Finland Toll: +358 (0)9 817 103 10 France Toll: +33 170750711 Germany Toll: +49 6913803430 Hong Kong Toll: +852 30600225 Hungary Toll: +36 12355213 Ireland Toll: +353 14311252 Italy Toll: +39 0236013821 Japan Toll: +81 344556492 Netherlands Toll: +31 207095189 Norway Toll: +47 23500243 Singapore Toll: +65 64298349 Spain Toll: +34 935472900 Sweden Toll: +46 856642651 Switzerland Toll: +41 225809034 United Kingdom Toll: +44 3333000804 United States Toll: +1 6319131422
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. The main earnings sensitivities and the group's cost structure are presented on page 123 of the 2017 Annual Report. Risks and opportunities are discussed on pages 22-23 and risks and risk management are presented on pages 102-104 of the report.
UPM-Kymmene CorporationPirkko HarrelaExecutive Vice President, Stakeholder Relations
UPM, Media Relations Mon-Fri 9:00-16:00 EETtel. +358 40 588 3284 firstname.lastname@example.org
UPMWe deliver renewable and responsible solutions and innovate for a future beyond fossils across six business areas: UPM Biorefining, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Communication Papers and UPM Plywood. We employ around 19,100 people worldwide and our annual sales are approximately EUR 10 billion. Our shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. UPM Biofore - Beyond fossils. www.upm.com
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UPM presents certain performance measures of performance, financial position and cash flows, which are alternative performance measures in accordance with the guidance issued by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). The definitions of alternative performance measures are presented in notes to the consolidated financial statements in UPM Annual Report.
UPM Interim Report Q3 2018