Press release
20 Apr 2011, 7:45 CET

Interim report January-March 2011

Submitted for publication at 07.45 CET on 20 April 2011

(Tables included in attached PDF)

January-March 2011 compared with the same period in 2010

  • Net sales amounted to SEK 2 547 million (2 190), an increase of 16%.
  • Profit for the period amounted to SEK 235 million (156).
  • Earnings per share amounted to SEK 2.28 (1.52).
  • Operating profit amounted to SEK 332 million (234), corresponding to a margin of 13% (11). The increase was largely due to improved prices.

January-March 2011 compared with October-December 2010

  • Net sales amounted to SEK 2 547 million (2 279), an increase of 12%.
  • Operating profit amounted to SEK 332 million (326). The 2% increase is mainly attributable to higher sales volumes.
  • The strong order situation continued during the first quarter.

Outlook for the full-year 2011

  • The order situation remains good or very good in most of Billerud’s packaging paper areas. This provides conditions for a stable development within Billerud’s packaging paper and packaging paper solutions segments.
  • Price increases announced in the first quarter of 2011 are expected to have an impact in the coming quarters.
  • The effects of a stronger SEK will be largely compensated by currency hedges.

Comments by Billerud’s CEO Per Lindberg:

Sales growth with stronger margins

“I note Billerud’s continued good performance with great satisfaction. We had record sales volumes during the first quarter and this has provided growth of over 10% compared with the previous quarter. This was achieved with a continued strong operating margin of 13%. Our aim has been to achieve a stable and high operating profit as a base for growth. We steadily laid the foundations for this in 2010 and the stronger base was further strengthened during the first quarter of the year. It is also gratifying to see that our sales growth derives from a combination of volume growth, an improved mix of products and markets, as well as higher prices in local currency. This has enabled us to withstand the cost increases and a stronger Swedish krona during the quarter.

The market as a whole remains strong, although the strength of some small segments has started to wane. The strong Swedish krona will also have long-term consequences. In the short term we are working to hedge exchange rates and in the slightly longer term with the prices of our products. In time, however, it will become more difficult to compensate for an increasingly strong Swedish krona by raising prices, which means that we must continue to review our cost base and the currencies in which we incur our costs.

Our continuous further development of our customer offerings and our ability to sell remain in focus and are yielding results. Starting with this quarter we refer in external and internal contexts to sold volumes instead of delivered volumes. This reflects our increasingly strong focus on sales. We hope that the rest of the industry will follow our lead in this important change in the industry’s terminology.”

Billerud’s CEO Per Lindberg and CFO Bertil Carlsén will present the interim report at a press and analysts conference on Wednesday, 20 April at 10.30 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 07.45 CET on 20 April 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. The report has not been reviewed by the company’s auditors.

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.