Stora Enso has confirmed its Q4 2019 results. Sales decreased by 9.3% to €2,411m (€2,657m in same period). Operational EBIT decreased to €112m (€271m) and the operational EBIT margin was 4.6% (10.2%).
Operating profit was €680m (€356m) and a record cash flow from operations was recorded, amounting to €721m (€323m). Cash flow after investing activities was €518m (€148m).
For the full year 2019, sales were €10,055m (€10,486m). Operational EBIT was €953m (€1,325m).
“Subdued and mixed trading conditions caused by geopolitical uncertainties are expected to continue to impact Stora Enso in 2020,” said Stora Enso’s President and CEO, Annica Bresky. “The decline in demand for European paper will persist and demand for other Group products is expected to remain mixed. Exceptionally mild winter conditions in the Nordics with reduced period of frozen soil could impact harvesting and transport of wood and may therefore affect the stability of raw material supply and potentially increase wood costs to our Nordic mills.”
She continued, “Stora Enso will continue active cost management in 2020–2021 through the profit protection programme implementation. The fixed and variable cost savings target is €275m to the end of 2021. Various labour unions in Finland are currently on strike which is expected to impact result negatively.”
The company also made a statement on Q1 2020, specifically relating to operational EBIT, which is expected to be in the range of €90–200m. During the first quarter, there will be an annual maintenance shutdown at the Ostrołęka Mill on PM5. The total maintenance impact is estimated to be approximately €60m and €10m lower than in Q4/2019 and in Q1/2019 respectively.