Stora Enso's 4Q 2018 sales increased 5.8%, or Euro 146 million to Euro 2 657 million, despite operational issues. This was the highest 4Q sales since 2012 and the eighth consecutive quarter of growth, as the company said in the press release received by Lesprom Network.
Operational EBIT decreased 3%, or Euro 9 million to Euro 271 million. The operational EBIT margin decreased by 1%- point to 10.2%. Higher prices were more than offset by higher than expected costs. Main reasons for the higher temporary costs were operational issues of approximately Euro 40 million at Veitsiluoto, Nymölla, Montes del Plata, Skutskär, Imatra and Fors mills.
Full year 2018 sales increased 4.4%, or Euro 441 million to Euro 10 486 million. Operational EBIT increased by Euro 321 million, or 32% to Euro 1 325 million and represents a margin of 12.6%.
Stora Enso’s CEO Karl-Henrik Sundström said: “Looking at the whole year of 2018, sales are again well above Euro 10 billion and our operational EBIT increased by 32%. Our operational ROCE was close to 16%, well above the strategic target of 13%. I am also very pleased with the quite significant increase in full year EPS of 62.5%. We continue to strengthen our balance sheet and net debt/EBITDA amounted to 1.1. Therefore, the Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting a dividend of Euro 0.50 per share, an increase of 22% from last year. This is the fourth year in a row with an increase. This is a vote of confidence for the future of Stora Enso.”
Stora Enso is a leading global provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wooden constructions and paper.