The Altri Group reached a net profit of €28.2 million in the first nine months of 2023, a decrease of 76.0% compared to the same period of the previous year, explained by the drop in cellulosic fiber prices.
Despite the reduction in the main variable costs, this was not enough to face the drop in cellulosic fiber prices, ending up leading to a negative evolution in terms of EBITDA. Year-to-date, EBITDA reached €97.5 million, while the EBITDA margin fell to 16.2%.
“Throughout the year we have had a sharp focus on our operating costs, which have shown a consecutive decrease over several quarters. These are figures that reflect the solidity of our operational capacity as well as the necessary agility on the commercial front”, says José Soares de Pina, CEO of Altri.
Production accelerates with demand from China
The Altri Group reached the end of the first nine months with high production levels, exceeding 780 thousand tons of cellulosic fibers, and with sales exceeding 810 thousand tons. An evolution supported by the strong recovery in demand in Asia, particularly in China.
Although greater demand is leading to successive price increases in China, with a positive impact also on prices in Europe, these higher prices will only be felt in the fourth quarter of 2023 and throughout the next year. Thus, in the nine months, the total revenues amounted to 601.0 million euros, a year-on-year decrease of 25.4%.
The more positive outlook for the evolution of cellulosic fiber prices does not invalidate the continuation of cost optimization work, while reinforcing the objectives of sustainable growth.
“In that context, it is also important the completion of the 'Caima Go Green' project, currently in the final testing phase, which will enable Caima to be the first of the three industrial units of Group Altri to be 100% free of fossil fuel and the first in the Iberian Peninsula”, says José Soares de Pina.
This project is joined by Gama, which continues to be developed, with the Altri Group intending to make in the short term the final investment decision on the construction of a new industrial unit for the production of dissolving pulp and sustainable textile fibers, in Galicia.