Paper- and forest-product manufacturer SCA has seen its net sales rise by 11%, to SEK 9.07 billion (€880 million), in the first half of 2018, driven by higher prices in the sector.
The Swedish firm said that EBITDA was up 45%, to SEK 2.2 billion, for the period, due to higher prices in kraftliner and wood. EBITDA was impacted by a planned expansion at the group's Östrand pulp mill in the second quarter.
EBITDA margin increased to 24.4%, up from 18.6% for the same period last year.
'The market remained strong in the second quarter, with healthy demand in all of SCA’s product areas,' the company wrote in a statement.
'The expanded pulp mill in Östrand went into operation in June, following a planned expansion stop to complete the final stage of the sequential start-up. Forest, Wood and Paper reported improved earnings compared with the preceding quarter and the corresponding quarter in 2017, while the Pulp segment reported a loss for the quarter as a result of the planned stop.'
SCA noted that the market for kraftliner has 'remained strong', with growing demand and limited supply. It noted that the growth in e-commerce is leading to increased demand for transport-quality packaging.
The pulp market has, similarly, shown positive growth, with 'high demand in all markets' and price increases in the second quarter.
The group said that its new Östrand pulp mill has started well, 'despite the operational disruptions and necessary adjustments and fine-tuning that can be expected in such a major project.'
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.