Stora Enso Says 2001 Earnings "Satisfactory"

HELSINKI, FINLAND—Stora Enso announced its 2001 earnings results last week. According to the paper giant, its earnings per share for October through December last year were €0.22 (€0.23) and cash earnings per share €0.58 (€0.58), excluding non-recurring items in both cases.

The following is excerpted from the Stora Enso's January 30, 2002, news release:

Sales were €3 282.9 million and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and goodwill amortization (EBITDA), excluding non-recurring items, totalled €609.4 million. Operating profit, excluding non-recurring items, was €286.8 million, 15.4% less than in the third quarter and equalling 8.7% of sales. The decrease was attributable to seasonal and market-related production curtailments, of which 485,000 tonnes were due to the weak market (507 000 tonnes in the third quarter). Profit before taxes and minority interests amounted to €249.2 (€305.6) million and net profit for the period to €274.5 (€213.7) million.

Full-year sales rose to €13 508.8 million, up 3.8% on the previous year mainly as a result of Consolidated Papers. Operating profit excluding non-recurring items was €1 495.2 million or 11.1% of sales, a decrease of 22.4%, due to lower sales volumes and prices as well as increased depreciation. Profit before tax and minority interests was €1 223.0 million and net profit for the period €926.3 million. Earnings per share were €0.94 and cash earnings per share €2.34, excluding non-recurring items in both cases.

As for the 2002 outlook, Stora Enso CEO Jukka Härmälä says, "Market sensitivity generally has increased as production curtailments and de-stocking have emptied inventories. However, a pick-up in paper and board is conditional on a firm improvement in the global economy. Stora Enso will continue to adjust its capacity to the market demand. Once demand improves, Stora Enso will be in a good position to benefit from the full effects of synergies in North America and the extensive restructuring and rebuild projects realized in recent years."

According to Stora Enso, its 2002 first quarter interim review will be published April 23, 2002. Visit Stora Enso at storaenso.com.



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