1 JANUARY–31 MARCH 2012 (compared with same period a year ago)
The packaging operations held for sale are reported only as a separate line item in the income statement - Profit for the period from disposal group held for sale. Comments in this report are thus exclusive of the Packaging operations.
The divestment referred to in the report pertains to the formation of a joint venture in Australia/New Zealand through the sale of 50% of the shares and entailing a deconsolidation of the operations from the start of the year.
Net sales increased by 1% (4% excluding exchange rate effects and divestments) to SEK 19,490m (19,231)
Operating profit excluding items affecting comparability rose 4% (7% excluding divestments) to SEK 1,834m (1,767)
Cash flow from current operations was SEK 1,301m (446)
(Table included in attached pdf)
The processes of completing the acquisition of Georgia-Pacific's European tissue operations and the sale of the packaging operations, excluding the two kraftliner mills in Sweden, are proceeding according to plan.
The hygiene operations are performing well, with continued growth, higher market shares and significantly improved earnings compared to the previous year. Forest Products was negatively affected by higher raw material and energy costs coupled with a weak market for publication papers, solid-wood products and kraftliner. We also experienced the usual seasonal effect during the first quarter compared with the fourth quarter. In addition, operations in Australia/New Zealand were deconsolidated from the start of the year.
Net sales for the first quarter of 2012, excluding exchange rate effects and divestments, rose 4% compared with the same period a year ago. The increase is mainly attributable to favourable volume growth in all business areas. The sales increase remained high in emerging markets, where Personal Care and Tissue increased sales with 23% and 14%, respectively.
Operating cash flow increased to SEK 1,778m (1,030). The improvement is mainly related to lower working capital compared to the same period a year ago.
In early 2012 SCA announced two acquisitions that will strengthen the company’s position in the important hygiene products market in Asia. During the first quarter SCA reached an agreement with the Taiwan-based hygiene products company Everbeauty, a leading Asian supplier of personal care products. The acquisition creates favourable growth opportunities in a strategic growth market and gives SCA a leading position in incontinence care products in Asia, excluding Japan. The acquisition also strengthens SCA’s position in baby diapers along with its geographic presence in Asia. In early April SCA decided to increase its ownership in the Chinese company Vinda, the third largest player in China’s tissue market.
Web cast, flash: http://www.sca.com/WebcastQ12012flash Web cast, wm: http://www.sca.com/WebcastQ12012wm Other Q1 material: http://www.sca.com/Q12012en
For further information, please contact:
Johan Karlsson, Vice President Investor Relations, +46 8 788 51 30 Pär Altan, Vice President Media Relations, +46 8 788 52 37
Note SCA discloses the information provided herein pursuant to the Securities Markets Act. This report has been prepared in both Swedish and English versions. In case of variations in the content between the two versions, the Swedish version shall govern. This interim report has not been reviewed by the company’s auditors. Submitted for publication on 18 April 2012, at 13.00 CET.