Press release
21 Jul 2011, 10:30 CET

Interim report January-June 2011

Submitted for publication at 10.30 CET on 21 July 2011

(Tables included in attached PDF)

January-June 2011 compared with the same period in 2010

  • Net sales amounted to SEK 4 930 million (4 298), an increase of 15%.
  • Operating profit amounted to SEK 607 million (435), corresponding to a margin of 12% (10).
  • Profit for the period amounted to SEK 429 million (290).
  • Earnings per share amounted to SEK 4.16 (2.82).
  • The 2011 Annual General Meeting resolved in accordance with the Board’s proposal to issue a dividend of SEK 3.50 (0.50) per share for 2010.

April-June 2011 compared with January-March 2011

  • Net sales amounted to SEK 2 383 million (2 547).
  • Operating profit amounted to SEK 275 million (332). The decrease corresponds to the extra costs incurred in the second quarter due to implementation of a periodic maintenance shutdown at the Skärblacka mill.
  • The order situation remained good although at a lower and more normal level.
  • Price increases announced for the quarter for packaging paper resulted in higher prices in local currency with an average of over 3% compared with the first quarter.

Outlook for the full-year 2011

  • The order situation at the start of the third quarter remains good and at normal levels.
  • Additional price increases have not been announced.
  • Continued stable development expected in the third quarter.
  • Unease in the financial market and its effect on the business cycle make development in the subsequent period somewhat more uncertain.

Comments by Billerud’s CEO Per Lindberg:

Another strong quarter
“Billerud’s earnings remain strong. We have an operating margin of 12%, a cash flow from operating activities of 20% of sales and a return on equity of 19%. The SEK 57 million lower operating profit compared with the first quarter mainly corresponds to costs for the periodic maintenance shutdown in Skärblacka which was carried out in the second quarter. So underlying earnings for the second quarter were just as strong as in the previous quarter. The market situation remained favourable with a good balance in the markets. The very strong order books and sold volumes during the first quarter are now down at more normal levels, however. Price increases announced in the first quarter have had an effect and the increases implemented compensated for higher costs and the stronger Swedish krona.

Efforts to strengthen Billerud’s competence and understanding of end customers’ requirements for packaging and packaging solutions are ongoing. During the second quarter we accepted ten new, young trainees to our trainee programme which was started last year. They start their training in the autumn together with a number of internally recruited talents. Our further development of the product FibreForm® has led to a number of new customer contacts with whom we are working to develop new packaging solutions.

Billerud is strengthening its position within the packaging industry by investing in a minority stake in PACCESS Packaging, a US based company with numerous operations throughout Asia. This investment marks an additional step for Billerud to become a more customer- and solution-driven company. We see that packaging optimisation with regard to function, material, design and sustainability are becoming increasingly important to brand owners. With Billerud’s expertise with renewable materials and PACCESS Packaging’s established customer base, broad knowledge of packaging development and deep experience in Asia, we will create a strong platform for future growth. We will immediately expand our position in Asia, a key growth market.

I see good opportunities for a continued positive development for Billerud, in both the short term and going forward.”

Billerud’s CEO Per Lindberg and CFO Bertil Carlsén will present the interim report at a press and analysts conference on Thursday, 21 July at 13.00 CET.
Venue: Spårvagnshallarna, Birger Jarlsgatan 57 A, Stockholm.

For further information in connection with this report, please contact Per Lindberg, President and CEO, +46 702 481 517 and Bertil Carlsén, CFO, +46 730 211 092.

This information is such that Billerud AB is required to disclose under the Securities Market Act. Submitted for publication at 10.30 CET on 21 July 2011. This report has been prepared in both a Swedish and an English version. In the event of variations between the two, the Swedish version shall take precedence.

Billerud is a packaging paper company. The business concept is to offer customers packaging material and solutions that promote and protect their products – packaging that is attractive, strong and made of renewable material. Billerud has a world-leading position within several product segments, both within paper for consumer packaging and for industrial applications. Production takes place at the Group’s three integrated pulp and paper mills in Sweden, and at a paper mill in the UK.