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Stora Enso: Results Improved Despite Difficult Market Conditions

Press release from the issuing company

HELSINKI, Finland, Oct. 25 -- Stora Enso today announced results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2001. Earnings per share excluding non-recurring items improved to EUR 0.23, compared with EUR 0.18 in the previous quarter, mainly due to lower financial costs. The profit before tax and minority interests excluding non-recurring items was EUR 287.6 million (EUR 248.3 million in previous quarter). Sales for the quarter at EUR 3 200.5 million were about 6% less than the previous quarter's EUR 3 388.4 million. The operating profit excluding non-recurring items was EUR 339.0 million, which is 2.1% less than the previous quarter's EUR 346.4 million and 10.6% of sales. Lower prices and decreased sales volumes were partially compensated by lower costs, mainly due to the lower average exchange rates of the Swedish krona and US dollar. Third quarter production curtailments amounted to 706 000 tonnes, including 507 000 tonnes due to weak market demand (342 000 tonnes in the second quarter). The remainder was mainly due to machine rebuilds. Commenting on the results, Stora Enso's CEO Jukka Harmala said, "We are pleased that we were able to improve our results even though the markets were demanding during the quarter and uncertainty has increased. We shall continue to adjust our capacity to market demand. By keeping capital expenditure low, as we have done, we can maintain good cash flow. "Continuing weakness in the markets combined with seasonal curtailments and planned downtime for rebuilds will affect the fourth quarter earnings per share. The full year financial results will depend very much on prices, our internal efficiency and cost awareness.'' The full-length version of the Stora Enso interim review is available on the Stora Enso website at http://www.storaenso.com/investors

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