Kostrzyn, Poland, 17 December 2008 -- Arctic Paper generated SEK 2 685.8 million of revenue during the first nine months of 2008. Operating profit increased by 60% and reached SEK 136.9 million. Net profit amounted to SEK 120.3 million and was 27% higher than in the same period 2007.
”We are, of course, happy to increase our financial results despite quite difficult times in certain European economies. Today we are one of the leading European producers of fine papers and book papers, with a clear strategy and assured long term financing, and we believe we have all the tools needed for further development of the company,” said Olle Grundberg, chairman of the supervisory board at Arctic Paper S.A., a newly established company that is preparing to be listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.
All operations of Arctic Paper AB, the mills in Munkedal, Kostrzyn, and Mochenwangen, and the sales companies, are now transferred to a new company, Arctic Paper S.A., registered in Poland, and headed by Michał Jarczyński, who has been manager of the Kostrzyn mill since 2003. The group’s headquarters will be located in Kostrzyn. Central functions, such as sales and marketing, will remain in Gothenburg, Sweden. The profit for the first three quarters of 2008 reflects the operations in the new company, and does not include the mill in Håfreström, which is being decommissioned. The acquisition of Mochenwangen Papier GmbH was finalized in November 2008 and the profit from that mill is not included in the quarterly figures.
Arctic Paper’s sales of uncoated paper exceeded 310,000 metric tons in the first three quarters of 2008, an increase of 9% compared with the same period in 2007. ”Overall, we are pleased with the sales development during 2008. Despite rather tough times, we are cautiously optimistic going into 2009. We have a strong product offer and improving customer service. “With stabilization of our variable production cost, I think we have reasons to look positively to the future,” said Hans Karlander, sales and marketing director of Arctic Paper.
The company continues its established strategy of growing both organically and through acquisitions. The purchase of the German company Mochenwangen Papier GmbH in the autumn of 2008 was approved by the German competition authority in October, and the purchase of Grycksbo Paper in Dalarna, Sweden, is in progress. After finalizing the acquisition of Grycksbo Paper, the production capacity of the group will reach 805,000 metric tons of paper per year, which gives Arctic Paper one of the leading positions in Europe in the production of book and fine papers in terms of capacity.
In these times, the management of Arctic Paper S.A. Group is especially pleased that it successfully implemented a full long-term refinancing of the newly established group and renegotiated its loans with the banks for a total amount of approximately EUR 90 million as one of the preparations for the share market listing in 2009.