Helsinki, Finland, Feb 8, 2012 - â€œStora Ensoâ€™s 2011 turned out to be another year of change. Whereas the full year shows year-on-year operational EBIT improvement, the latter part and especially the fourth quarter showed that rethinking within the Group has to continue.
â€œThe uncertainty and slowing down of the economy were distinctly apparent in our performance in the fourth quarter. The pricing momentum achieved earlier in the year helped us through the fourth quarter with satisfactory results, and as before, with strong cash flow and liquidity at the year end. This is naturally crucial for the transformation of the Group and our continued strategic investments in growth markets.
â€œReviewing our own performance in 2011, it is also evident that more flexibility, productivity and work to build customer loyalty are needed. And even with the strong cash flow of the fourth quarter, we need to re-engineer our demand chain to release cash from working capital to invest in our future. This is why we announced a new Business Area structure in January, to improve our competitive position in the various businesses â€“ every day, as soon as possible. The clarity, accountability and simplicity of our new Business Area structure is meant to be an accelerator of this process.
â€œDuring the first months of 2012, we will face a challenging operating environment. Uncertainty and limited visibility, at least in European markets, will continue. The decrease in variable costs will only begin to be visible in our profit and loss statements. We will therefore continue to focus on pricing quality and cash flow. Construction of the Montes del Plata pulp mill is progressing according to the plan, with close to 4 000 people working at the Punta Pereira site in Uruguay. This is a project in which we and the surrounding community can take pride.
â€œIn summary, another challenging year ahead, a year of improving our productivity, demand chain and customer satisfaction. But also another exciting year of building and transforming the Group.â€
For further information, please contact:
Jouko Karvinen, CEO, tel. +358 2046 21410
Lauri Peltola, Head of Communications and Global Responsibility, tel. +358 2046 21380
Ulla Paajanen-Sainio, Head of Investor Relations, tel. +358 2046 21242
Stora Enso is the global rethinker of the biomaterials, paper, packaging 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 30 000 people worldwide, and our sales in 2011 amounted to EUR 11.0 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.
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