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Stora Enso Q2 Results Influenced by Challenging Markets, Seasonal Effects

Thursday, July 25, 2002

Press release from the issuing company

HELSINKI, Finland, July 24 -- Stora Enso today announced that Stora Enso's second quarter operating profit was EUR 241,8 million (EUR 274,0 million). Operating profit excluding non-recurring items was EUR 190.2 million (EUR 274.0 million), which is 30.6% less than in the previous quarter and 5.9% of sales. Earnings per share excluding non-recurring items were EUR 0.12 (EUR 0.18), and cash earnings per share EUR 0.48 (EUR 0.55). Sales of EUR 3 233.0 million were at the same level as the previous quarter's EUR 3 228.9 million, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) totalled EUR 569.5 million (EUR 602.9 million). Profit before taxes and minority interest amounted to EUR 206.2 million (EUR 240.5 million). Market-related production curtailments amounted to 326 000 tonnes (335 000 tonnes). Commenting on the results and market outlook, Stora Enso's CEO Jukka Harmala said, "Stora Enso's second quarter results were heavily influenced by seasonal effects and continuing difficult market conditions, and by maintenance-related increased fixed costs. On the other hand, a good cash flow strengthened Stora Enso's already strong balance sheet. The market outlook for the main markets, Europe and North America, will still remain challenging. No positive signs of improvement are yet visible in print media advertising, especially in the USA. However, markets continue to be divergent, with a fairly good demand for consumer-related goods such as office papers, consumer boards and timber products. In all events, the general recovery seems to be slow and dependent on an upward trend in the US economy."




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