In 2019 Stora Enso registered weaker results in an already difficult year. Sales in 2019 went down by 4% to 10.06 billion euro due to significantly lower prices and reduced paper volumes. The EBIT data for the same year plummeted by nearly 30% owing to a reduction in the prices of almost all segments, except for Consumer Board and Paper. The company has informed that the decrease has been further exacerbated by lower paper volumes: in 2019, Stora Enso sold 460,000 tons paper less compared to the previous year.
The net profit of the year decreased by 13% to 856 million euro.
Nonetheless, the company has made considerable efforts in active cost management in 2019 and succeeded to achieve a 150 million euro cost reduction, whereby this measure was not, however, enough to make up for the drop in sales prices. Stora Enso has announced its intention to continue with its “profit protection programme” in 2020 to achieve a 275 million euro cost reduction by the end of 2021. A number of positive aspects have been registered, too, instead. These include the fact that Stora Enso registered a record high cash flow for its operations, which was 1.98 billion euro in 2019 compared to the 1.37 billion euro cash flow registered in 2018.
Latest news on the outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan in China and the strike in the sector of forest products in Finland are contributing to make Stora Enso’s commercial uncertainties worse. The coronavirus epidemics has not had any impact on Stora Enso’s operations in China so far, however the company is carefully following the decisions made by the Chinese Government.