updated 4/20/2011 7:16:33 AM ET 2011-04-20T11:16:33

HELSINKI, Finland, April 20, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

  • EUR 248 million quarterly operating profit excluding NRI and fair valuations, up by EUR 129 million (108)% year-on-year, EBITDA excluding NRI and fair valuations up by 59%.
  • ROCE excluding NRI and fair valuations 11% (6)%.
  • Improved year-on-year pricing and continued productivity improvement in all segments.
  • Strong growth in market pulp.
  • Increase in cost inflation estimate to approximately 4% for the full year 2011, actions to improve costs, productivity, product and customer mix continue to be even more important.
  • Cost inflation and maintenance stoppages will limit Q2 2011 earnings improvement year-on-year.
  • Investments announced in strategic high-return growth areas: Montes del Plata Pulp Mill, Uruguay and containerboard machine at Ostroleka, Poland.

Summary of First Quarter Results

    Q1/11 Q4/10 Q1/10
Sales EUR million 2 726.9 2 685.2 2 295.9
EBITDA excl. NRI and fair valuations EUR million 368.3 288.8 232.1
Operating Profit excl. NRI and Fair Valuations EUR million 248.0 166.8 119.4
Operating profit (IFRS) EUR million 237.2 410.9 123.4
Profit before tax excl. NRI EUR million 213.2 187.0 136.8
Profit before tax EUR million 186.0 389.2 117.9
Net profit excl. NRI EUR million 175.3 148.7 121.0
Net profit EUR million 155.9 313.0 102.1
EPS excl. NRI EUR 0.22 0.19 0.15
EPS EUR 0.20 0.39 0.13
CEPS excl. NRI EUR 0.39 0.37 0.31
ROCE excl. NRI % 12.1 9.9 7.2
ROCE excl. NRI and fair valuations % 11.4 7.9 6.0

Fair valuations include equity incentive schemes, synthetic options net of realised and open hedges, CO2 emission rights, and valuations of biological assets related to forest assets in equity accounted investments.

NRI = Non-recurring items. These are exceptional transactions that are not related to normal business operations. The most common non-recurring items are capital gains, additional write-downs or reversals of write-downs, provisions for planned restructuring and penalties. Non-recurring items are normally specified individually if they exceed one cent per share.

Near-term Outlook

Demand is expected to be slightly stronger than a year ago for consumer board and stronger for industrial packaging, similar for newsprint and coated magazine paper in Europe, and slightly stronger than a year ago for uncoated magazine paper.

Demand for fine paper is forecast to be similar to a year ago. Demand for wood products is anticipated to be slightly stronger than a year ago.

Consumer board prices are predicted to be similar but industrial packaging prices slightly higher than in the previous quarter. Newsprint and coated magazine paper prices are expected to be stable and uncoated magazine paper prices slightly higher than in the previous quarter.

Fine paper and wood product prices are forecast to be slightly higher than in the previous quarter.

Increased cost inflation and maintenance stoppages will limit the year-on-year earnings improvement in the second quarter of 2011.

The Group has increased its forecast of cost inflation excluding internal actions from 3% to 4% for the full year 2011. Actions on costs, productivity, and product and customer mix continue to be even more important.

For further information, please contact:

Jouko Karvinen, CEO, tel. +358 2046 21410

Markus Rauramo, CFO, tel. +358 2046 21121

Ulla Paajanen-Sainio, Head of Investor Relations, tel. +358 2046 21242

Lauri Peltola, Head of Communications and Global Responsibility, tel. +358 2046 21380

The full-length version of the Stora Enso interim review is available on the Stora Enso website at www.storaenso.com/investors

Stora Enso's second quarter 2011 results will be published on 21 July 2011 at 13.00 EET.

Stora Enso is the global rethinker of the packaging, paper and wood products industry. We always rethink the old and expand to the new to offer our customers innovative solutions based on renewable materials. Stora Enso employs some 26 000 people worldwide, and our sales in 2010 amounted to EUR 10.3 billion. Stora Enso shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki (STEAV, STERV) and Stockholm (STE A, STE R). In addition, the shares are traded in the USA as ADRs (SEOAY) in the International OTCQX over-the-counter market.

It should be noted that certain statements herein which are not historical facts, including, without limitation those regarding expectations for market growth and developments; expectations for growth and profitability; and statements preceded by "believes", "expects", "anticipates", "foresees", or similar expressions, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Since these statements are based on current plans, estimates and projections, they involve risks and uncertainties, which may cause actual results to materially differ from those expressed in such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: (1) operating factors such as continued success of manufacturing activities and the achievement of efficiencies therein, continued success of product development, acceptance of new products or services by the Group's targeted customers, success of the existing and future collaboration arrangements, changes in business strategy or development plans or targets, changes in the degree of protection created by the Group's patents and other intellectual property rights, the availability of capital on acceptable terms; (2) industry conditions, such as strength of product demand, intensity of competition, prevailing and future global market prices for the Group's products and the pricing pressures thereto, price fluctuations in raw materials, financial condition of the customers and the competitors of the Group, the potential introduction of competing products and technologies by competitors; and (3) general economic conditions, such as rates of economic growth in the Group's principal geographic markets or fluctuations in exchange and interest rates.
 

www.storaenso.com

www.storaenso.com/investors
 

STORA ENSO OYJ

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