Södra reported sustained strong operating profit of SEK 1,318 million ($149 million) for the 2Q, the best quarterly result ever. The market trend was positive for all of the company product categories and completed investments, efficiency improvements and restructuring are reflected in the result.
Consolidated net sales for the 2Q rose 26% year-on-year to SEK 6,626 million ($751 million), and the operating margin strengthened to 20%. For the first half-year, operating profit totalled SEK 2,257 million ($256 million) – the strongest half-year figure in Södra’s history. Return on capital employed rose to 26% and the equity ratio was 57%.
In the Södra Skog business area, operating profit totalled SEK 49 million ($5.6 million) for the period. The result was impacted by continued weather challenges. Following a cold and snowy winter that made transportation difficult, the dry conditions of recent months have increased the fire danger and significantly impacted forest operations.
In the Södra Wood business area, operating profit totalled SEK 210 million ($23.8 million) for the period, mainly reflecting the positive price level for sawn timber but also the ongoing restructuring process. The result refers solely to the sawmill operations, since the Interior Wood segment has largely been discontinued and is now reported under Other segments.
In the Södra Cell business area, operating profit totalled SEK 1,196 million ($136 million) for the 2Q. The profit trend was mainly attributable to the high price level, a favourable USD exchange rate and the higher volumes enabled by expansion of the pulp mill at Värö.