Billerud improved sequential performance in the wake of positive market sentiment

Feed: 3937 - Date: 4/27/2024 - Views: 58

Billerud has published its Q1 2024 results. Ivar Vatne, President and CEO of Billerud, comments the report:

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“The first quarter result was a clear sequential improvement. As we expected, the improvement was mainly derived from stronger sales volumes and stronger price positions within liquid packaging board. We also experienced favorable product mix changes in both regions. Despite headwinds of higher costs for energy, logistics and fiber in Europe, the Group’s EBITDA margin strengthened to 11% in the quarter. 
The market sentiment clearly improved during the quarter in both regions. Order books have strengthened, and we see broad-based price increase announcements. Over the past quarter, we adjusted quickly and produced at full speed on all machines in Europe and significantly decreased our production curtailments in the US. I am in particular proud of how we successfully managed to solve the challenging logistical issues, enabling us to capture the market opportunity.
We are also pleased with the clearly improved profitability in North America to 16% EBITDA margin. With overall cost stability, we are excited about the future costleading production opportunities in this region. 
However, we need to be careful to draw the conclusion that the underlying consumption has picked up significantly. The combination of longer delivery times due to Red Sea difficulties and strikes in Finland both have an impact on the supply situation. As we learned from 2021/2022, such effects are temporary and will likely lead to stock build-up. Keeping a close eye on inventory levels throughout the supply chain will thus be critical.”

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