Helsinki, Finland, 08 January 2009 – UPM has reviewed the financial targets for its businesses to correspond with the company's new business structure effective from 01 December 2008. The company's long-term target is an operating profit margin that exceeds 10%. The return on equity target is at least five percentage points above the yield of a 10-year risk-free investment. The gearing ratio is to be kept below 90%.
In line with new financial targets, also the dividend policy has been reviewed. UPM intends to pay as an annual dividend at least one third of net cash flow from operating activities less operational capital expenditure. To promote stability in dividends, net cash flow will be calculated as an average over a three year period. Remaining funds are to be allocated between growth capital expenditure and debt reduction.
UPM's new financial targets emphasise the importance of cash flow in steering the business. To secure financial flexibility, the company has raised the priority of debt reduction. This emphasises the company's aim to meet the requirements of capital markets for an investment grade borrower.
The minimum dividend for 2007 calculated according the new dividend policy would have been EUR 0.42, whereas the actual dividend for 2007 was EUR 0.75. The board's dividend proposal for 2008 will be published in the Financial Review on 05 February 2009.