Swedish paper and pulp manufacturer BillerudKorsnäs has reported 15% net sales growth in the fourth quarter of its financial year, which was driven by 'higher prices and an improved product mix', the company said.
The firm reported sales of SEK 6.69 billion for the period (€640 million), while adjusted EBITDA came in at SEK 1.08 billion (€100 million).
This was up on SEK 568 million in the corresponding period the previous year, with the group saying that its strengthened earnings resulted from higher pricing, an improved product mix, and positive benefits from its cost and efficiency programme.
Cost inflation, particularly for logistics, energy and chemicals, had an 'adverse effect', however.
'Solid Growth And Strong Performance'
"The fourth quarter was another quarter of solid growth and strong performance, driven by strong market conditions," commented chief executive Christoph Michalski.
"Higher prices, product mix improvements, continued cost program delivery and productivity increases offset cost inflation for logistics, chemicals and energy in the fourth quarter."
Last November, BillerudKorsnäs unveiled its strategy to 2030 at a capital markets day event, with the company set to focus on 'attractive markets with good growth opportunities', as well as product segments in which it can compete strongly.
It also plans to boost operational efficiency across its business, increasing investment in the maintenance and development of its paper mills. It divested a paper mill in the UK last October.
In December, it entered into a merger agreement with Verso Corporation, which will see the Swedish group acquire its US peer for $825 million.
Outlook For The Year Ahead
In the near term, the group said that the market outlook for the coming quarters is likely to be 'positive', albeit with higher costs associated with logistics, energy and chemicals.
"To counteract the cost inflation, we will continue to focus on price and mix management and improved efficiencies," commented Michalski.
"Our priorities for 2022 are to continue to deliver our strategy in commercial, operations and wood supply, as well as to close the deal with Verso and deliver the integration work."
© 2022 European Supermarket Magazine. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. For more Packaging news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.