Södra reported a strong earnings trend for the first eight months of the year. Operating profit rose to SEK 1,660 million (1,012), sales increased to SEK 12,186 million (11,429) and the operating margin was 14 percent (9).
“Södra is performing well. A healthy second four-month period has finished with a historically strong overall result for the Group for the period through August. This is largely due to high price levels for finished goods and mainly to a favourable currency situation – but also because Södra is becoming an increasingly efficient, innovative and value-generating Group,” said CEO Lars Idermark.
Operating profit for the second four-month period amounted to SEK 718 million (509) and sales to SEK 5,943 million (5,591), which yielded an operating margin of 12 percent (9). The improved earnings were due to positive demand for Södra’s products and a favourable currency situation.
“The Södra Cell business area continues to deliver a very strong performance. Stable and efficient production at the mills, while we are investing SEK 5 billion to increase production, is impressive. The profit trend for Södra Wood is more problematic. Efforts to improve operational efficiency are progressing well, but lower prices and weaker market conditions are putting pressure on profitability. Eventually, structural changes will also be required to improve profitability. Several minor measures have already been implemented, such as concentrating more of our business operations into fewer and larger units,” added Idermark.