This is Billerud

Billerud provides paper and packaging materials that challenge conventional packaging for a sustainable future. We are a world-leading company in superior paper and packaging products made of virgin fibre. We are passionately committed to sustainability, quality and customer value.

Net sales 2022 by region

Net sales by region, % Per cent
Europe 48
America 34
Asia 14
Others 4

Net sales 2022 by product category

Net sales by product category, % Per cent
Graphic paper 20
Liquid packaging board 20
Kraft and speciality paper 13
Containerboard 13
Sack paper 9
Cartonboard 8
Market pulp 8
Others 9

Key events

Big steps forward in line with our strategy

Expansion to North America

The acquisition of Verso on 31 March 2022 marked the starting point for Billerud’s profitable growth journey in North America.

Name simplification

In October, the company simplified its name to Billerud to cater to its international customers.

Joint venture with Viken Skog

In March, Billerud and the Norwegian forest owner group Viken Skog formed a joint venture.

CEO's statement

Christoph Michalski, President and CEO

In 2022, we delivered a record financial performance and advanced our growth plans for cartonboard. Among the notable highlights for Billerud was our entry into North America.
Net Sales, SEK bn
Number of employees

Global Trends

The trends affecting our industry

Several global trends are having an impact on the paper and packaging industry, particularly demographics which are increasing the demand for packaging, and the sustainability focus that is generating a shift away from plastics to paper products. Billerud has identified five key trends affecting our industry and offering opportunities for growth.

Our targets

Billerud has financial targets for growth and profitability, coupled with principles governing the company’s indebtedness and dividends to shareholders. Three key targets, linked to the climate footprint, safety and customer experience, support our proactive sustainability work.

The target is for net sales to increase by 3–4% per year. This target was greatly exeeded in 2022 as net sales increased by 63%, mainly due to the acquisition of Verso. The organic and currency neutral net sales growth was 16% .

Year Percent
2018: 6% 6
2019: 3% 3
2020: -2% -2
2021: 10% 10
2022: 63% 63
Target 3-4%
Outcome 63%

The target is an EBITDA margin above 17%. This was achieved in 2022 as the EBITDA margin for the year was 19%. The improved margin was mainly a result of higher sales prices and an improved product mix.

Year Percent
2018: 12% 12
2019: 12% 12
2020: 11% 11
2021: 15% 15
2022: 19% 19
Target >17%
Outcome 19%

Net interest-bearing debt in relation to EBITDA should be less than 2.5. Proceeds from the rights issue in June 2022 were used to repay loans, and debts were further reduced later in the year. At the end of 2022, the ratio was 0.6, well below the target level.

Year Interest-bearing net debt/EBITDA
2018: 3.2 3.2
2019: 1.9 1.9
2020: 2.0 2.0
2021: 1.0 1.0
2022: 0.6 0.6
Target < 2.5
Outcome 0.6

The policy is to issue a dividend to shareholders of more than 50% of the net profit. The proposed dividend for 2022 of SEK 7.50 per share, comprising of an ordinary dividend of SEK 5.50 and an extraordinary dividend of SEK 2.00, corresponds to 41% of the net profit for the year.

Year Percent
2018: 86% 86
2019: 26% 26
2020: 135% 135
2021: 60% 60
2022: 41% 41
Target >50%
Outcome 41%

The 2022 target for emissions of fossil CO2 in the manufacturing process was less than 28 kg/ tonne product. The target was reached as the outcome was 27.7 kg/tonne product in Europe. Billerud’s total carbon footprint increased however by the acquisition of operations in North America.


Year Kg/tonne
2018: 38.1 38.1
2019: 37.5 37.5
2020: 30 30
2021: 30.5 30.5
2022: 27.7 27.7
Outcome: 27,7
Target: <28

The number of accidents per million work hours (LTIFR) for employees in the Group was 5.4 in 2022. The target for the year of less then 5 was not reached. Further efforts are needed to improve safety and our vision is zero injuries.

Year Outcome
2018: 7.3 7.3
2019: 7.4 7.4
2020: 6.1 6.1
2021: 5.9 5.9
2022: 5.4 5.4
Outcome 5.4
Target <5

The target for 2022 was that over 78% of customers should consider that Billerud’s work on sustainability creates value. For 2022, we are well over target with 84%.

The customer survey is carried out bi-annually.

Year Per cent
2019: 77% 77
2020: 77% 77
2021: 84% 84
2022: 84% 84
Target >78%
Outcome 84%

Strategy and business model

A strategy for growth in packaging

Our strategy provides a clear direction to profitable and sustainable revenue growth. Since the strategy was first presented in November 2021, major accomplishments have been made. In 2022, Billerud’s net sales grew substantially, both organic and through the acquisition of Verso. The expansion to North America and our strategic choices will enable further profitable growth to 2030 and beyond.

Read about our strategy

Our business model

Sustainability is at the core of our business. Our production is in ten locations on two continents where responsibly managed wood is close at hand. We make materials from renewable virgin fibres and our products are used for the packaging of food and consumer goods, industrial use and printed communication. People all over the world depend on our materials.

Product areas


The Board product area includes liquid packaging board, containerboard and cartonboard, which are mainly used to produce packaging for food, beverage and consumer products. We are expanding our operations to meet the growth in demand for sustainable board products.
Net sales, SEKm
3 262


The Paper product area expanded in 2022 with the acquisition of Verso in North America. Today, in addition to sack and kraft papers, the product area comprises graphic and specialty papers and market pulp. We will continue to improve the mix and target high-margin applications.
51 %
Net sales, SEKm
5 325


Billerud is turning into a company with a strong international presence and sustainability as a primary focus. We continue the transition to a climate-neutral and circular economy based on renewable and recyclable raw material.

Areas where we can make the biggest difference

Safety remains the number one priority for Billerud and constitutes, together with the climate impact and materials for the future, the three areas that are strategically vital for our future competitiveness.
Safety first
Climate impact
Materials of the future

Sustainability is at the core of everything we do

Billerud’s proactive sustainability work over many years has given us a leading position and sustainability is central for our long-term journey in North America. We are conducting a comprehensive analysis of the North American conditions from a sustainability perspective in order to set common baselines and goals for 2023. We are, for example, working on new science-based targets for the whole company.

Our sustainability foundation

With the support of a sustainability foundation, that incorporates those aspects that are fundamental to our sustainability work, our ambition is to continue a sustainable transition by maximising the positive and minimising negative impacts along our value chain.

Sustainable wood supply

Responsible supply chain

Engaging workplaces

Resource-efficient production

Partnership & community engagement

Responsible business

Thank you for reading

Billerud’s Annual General Meeting will be held on May 24th 2023, 15:00 CET, at 7A Posthuset, Palmsalen, in Stockholm.

Read more about Billerud's general meeting 2023