HELSINKI, Finland, April 27 -- Stora Enso today announced that Stora Enso's earnings per share were EUR 0.07 (EUR 0.03 excluding non-recurring items). Operating profit was EUR 112.7 million (EUR 41.4 million excluding non-recurring items), which is 3.6% of sales. Profit before taxes and minority interests amounted to EUR 83.6 (EUR 23.2 excluding non-recurring items) million. There were no non-recurring items in the first quarter.
Sales at EUR 3 144.9 million were 3.0% lower than the previous quarter's EUR 3 241.9 million. Cash flow from ongoing operations was EUR 159.4 (EUR 406.0) million and cash flow after investing activities EUR -198.1 (EUR 86.7) million. Cash earnings per share were EUR 0.41 (EUR 0.38 excluding non-recurring items). Net financial items were EUR -43.1 (EUR -32.5) million. Market-related production curtailments totalled 12 000 (80 000) tonnes.
Commenting on the outlook, Stora Enso's CEO Jukka Harmala said, "In Europe demand for advertising-driven paper grades is expected to be good. Publication paper prices were increased in the beginning of the year and are expected to remain at that level. Coated and uncoated fine paper demand is improving, but uncoated fine paper sheet prices are under pressure due to overcapacity. Price increases have been announced for some coated fine paper segments. Demand for packaging boards is stable and some price increases are being implemented in consumer boards, but corrugated board prices are under pressure. Demand for wood products is improving slowly and prices are expected to be stable."
In North America demand for advertising-driven papers remains good. Prices for magazine paper and coated fine paper reels are expected to increase again during the second quarter. The North American Profit Enhancement Programme is proceeding as planned.
In Asia fine paper demand remains healthy and prices are increasing.
In April there have been unscheduled shutdowns of mills in Finland related to ongoing labour negotiations, and this unsettled situation continues.
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