January–March 2020 (1–3/2019)
- Sales were EUR 1,253 million (1,438).
- Operating result was EUR 61 million (183). Comparable operating result was EUR 62 million (180).
- Result before taxes was EUR 46 million (167). Comparable result before taxes was EUR 48 million (163).
- Comparable return on capital employed was 4.9% (13.8).
- Cash flow from operations was EUR 49 million (41).
Events during the first quarter of 2020
- The average dollar-denominated market price of long-fibre pulp remained stable and that of short-fibre pulp decreased slightly compared to the previous quarter. The prices were nevertheless clearly lower than in the corresponding period last year.
- The strikes in Finland which concerned all of Metsä Group’s business areas had a negative impact on the operating result.
- Paperboard deliveries were on a higher level than in the corresponding period last year. The average price of white kraftliner in Europe was slightly lower than a year ago and the average price of folding boxboard was unchanged.
- The coronavirus pandemic increased demand for tissue papers, folding boxboard and white kraftliner.
- Metsä Fibre made the decision to build the most modern sawmill in the world in Rauma. The value of the investment is approximately EUR 200 million.
- The pre-engineering project of the Kemi bioproduct mill continues. The Lapland Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre) issued its reasoned conclusion on the EIA report, concluding the environmental impact assessment. The readiness to make an investment decision will be reached in the autumn of 2020, at earliest.
- Metsä Board received permission to begin the construction of Husum’s new recovery boiler. The final investment decision will be made when the environmental permit has been secured.
Events after the review period
In late April, Metsä Fibre agreed on the main equipment purchases for the new sawmill to be constructed in Rauma and for the planned Kemi bioproduct mill. The total value of the agreements is roughly EUR 500 million and their degree of Finnish content is 70%.
The coronavirus pandemic
Metsä Group follows and complies with the guidelines issued by authorities with regard to the coronavirus. The most important precautionary measure is physical distancing among the entire personnel. To prepare for the eventuality of any further spread of the epidemic, Metsä Group’s various functions have drawn up precautionary measures in advance, so that they will be able to ensure the personnel’s safety and business continuity. The Group’s resources have remained normal throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Production and deliveries have run normally, with the exception of Metsä Wood’s units in the UK as well as the Metsä Svir sawmill and wood supply operations in Russia, which have been operating at only partial capacity.
Source: Metsä Group