Renewable packaging manufacturer BillerudKorsnäs has reported 'strong net sales' in the first quarter of its financial year, with sales rising 2% to SEK 6.52 billion (€0.64 billion).
The pulp and paper manufacturer saw adjusted EBITDA rise 27% in the period to just over SEK 1 billion, mainly driven by a ramp up in production at its Gruvön plant.
"The first quarter has been good," commented Christoph Michalski, BillerudKorsnäs chief executive. "Not only did we have stable and high availability in our production, but our net sales also grew to an all-time high level and earnings improved substantially."
If currency effects are excluded, sales rose by 5%, driven by higher sales volumes and an improved sales mix.
BillerudKorsnäs noted that sales momentum was 'positive' in the January to March period, with the total order pipeline at the end of March 50% higher than at the same time last year. It said that it expects 'stable and improved' market conditions in the coming months, although it warned that the coronavirus pandemic is not yet over, and further vigilance is required.
It also plans to continue to implement cost and efficiency measures, which will deliver SEK 250 million in savings in 2021 and SEK 65 million in 2022. It recently announced plans to invest in a new recovery boiler at Frövi, planned to be in operation at the end of 2023.
'For 2021, all segments are expected to improve except liquid packaging board that is expected to remain stable,' the group said. 'Positive price movements are expected in several segments.'