1 JANUARY–31 MARCH 2008 (compared with the same period previous year)
• Net sales rose 7% to SEK 27,513m (25,615).
• Profit before tax rose 4% to SEK 1,946m (1,863).
• Profit for the period rose 7% to SEK 1,537m (1,434).
• Earnings per share rose 7% to SEK 2.18 (2.04).
• Operating cash flow was SEK -19m (267).
“The SCA Group increased its net sales by 7%, driven by acquisitions and favourable sales development, especially in emerging markets, where sales growth was 14%. These factors, along with an improved product mix, contributed to 8% growth in operating profit.
Following a good start to the year for most of our businesses, we saw an increase in raw material and energy costs. In our packaging business, this resulted in a 5% drop in operating profit, excluding the divestment of the North American packaging operations, despite price increases which generated an earnings effect of SEK 500m. Operating profit for the tissue operations rose a full 61% as a result of acquisitions and price increases. Operating profit for Personal Care products improved by 10% as a result of higher volume and an improved product mix. Operating profit for Forest Products was level with the same period a year ago.
We are seeing an economic downturn in the US and in certain segments in Europe in the wake of financial concerns at the same time that raw material prices continue to rise. This is making it difficult to compensate for higher raw material costs in all areas of operation. Consumer segments have been affected to a lesser degree by the economic change. We see continued growth in our hygiene segments.
We are conducting long-term work on enhancing growth and profitability at SCA. I am confident about this work at the same time that we still face certain challenges in parts of our business in the near term from rising raw material and energy prices.”
President and CEO
For further information, please contact:
Bodil Eriksson, Corporate Communications, +46 8 788 52 34
Johan Karlsson, Investor Relations, +46 8 788 51 30
Pär Altan, Media Relations, +46 8 788 52 37