Pulp and Paper Canada

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UPM-Kymmene’s profitability suffers from weak market


May 6, 2003
By Pulp & Paper Canada

The market situation in the paper industry has been difficult during the early part of this year, according to UPM-…

The market situation in the paper industry has been difficult during the early part of this year, according to UPM-Kymmene president and CEO Juha Niemel, commenting on the company’s first quarter results.
“Our primary objective now is to improve our profitability. We will further strengthen free cash flow by curbing investment and enhancing working capital turnover In addition, UPM-Kymmene will intensify its cost savings campaign covering all units and all functions. Cost-effectiveness will be improved and rationalization measures taken. The target is to save EUR 200 million by the beginning of 2005.”
Despite the difficult economic situation, the company’s balance sheet has remained good, he said. Over the past year UPM-Kymmene has reduced the net interest-bearing liabilities by EUR 500 million and the balance sheet total by EUR 1,200 million.
“The near-term market outlook for the paper industry remains weak although demand for publication papers is expected to pick up slightly during the second quarter for seasonal reasons. Over the next few months, paper prices are expected to remain unchanged in Europe but to show a marginal improvement in North America,” Niemel said.

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