27.10.04

27.10.2004: Meldung: Stora Enso Oyj: Interim Review January - September 2004

Profitability improves due to increasing demand and positive impact from the North American Profit Enhancement Programme

Stora Enso Oyj Stock Exchange Release 27 October 2004 at 10:00 GMT

Third Quarter Results (compared with previous quarter)
Stora Enso"s earnings per share excluding non-recurring items were EUR 0.10 (EUR 0.06). Operating profit excluding non-recurring items was EUR 131.6 (EUR 58.5) million, which is EUR 73.1 million more than in the previous quarter and 4.3% of sales. Profit before taxes and minority interests excluding non-recurring items amounted to EUR 114.8 (EUR 49.0) million. There were two non-recurring items in the third quarter with a total positive effect of USD 90.9 (EUR 74.1) million on operating profit consisting of a reversal of expenses already taken in respect of various US retiree healthcare programmes and the increased cost associated with the future reduction of maintenance personnel in the USA.

Sales at EUR 3 033.1 million were slightly lower than the previous quarter"s EUR 3 102.9 million. Cash flow from ongoing operations was EUR 448.1 (EUR 138.5) million and cash flow after investing activities EUR 127.1 (EUR -186.7) million. Cash earnings per share excluding non-recurring items were EUR 0.45 (EUR 0.43). Net financial items were EUR -27.0 (EUR -26.2) million. Market-related production curtailments totalled 61 000 tonnes (98 000 tonnes).

Outlook
Commenting on the outlook, Stora Enso"s CEO Jukka Härmälä said, "In Europe economic recovery is increasing demand for paper and paperboard. Demand for publication paper continues to grow and price rises are expected at the beginning of next year. Demand for fine paper is also expected to be strong during the rest of the year. Some price increases are being implemented in the last quarter of this year in coated and uncoated fine paper. Demand for packaging boards is firm and moderate price increases are underway. In wood products the redwood market remains oversupplied, whereas the whitewood market is balanced and prices are relatively stable."

In North America demand for magazine paper remains strong and further price rises will be realised for spot customers in the fourth quarter and for contract customers in the beginning of next year. Demand for coated fine paper is strong and further price increases are expected in the fourth quarter.

Economic growth in Asia continues. Publication and fine paper prices are strengthening.

Further weakening of the US dollar and increasing oil prices may have a negative effect on the outlook.

The annual holiday shutdowns, mainly in Finland, will once again have a negative impact on the Group"s fourth quarter results.


For further information, please contact:
Jukka Härmälä, Chief Executive Officer, tel. +358 2046 21404
Björn Hägglund, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, tel. +46 70 528 2785
Esko Mäkeläinen, CFO, tel. +44 20 7016 3115
Kari Vainio, EVP, Corporate Communications, tel. +44 7799 348 197
Keith B Russell, SVP, Investor Relations, tel. +44 7775 788 659

www.storaenso.com
www.storaenso.com/investors


Stora Enso"s results for 2004 will be published on 3 February 2005.


The full-length version of the Stora Enso interim review is available on the Stora Enso website at www.storaenso.com/investors or from the following link:


Interim Review January - September 2004

It should be noted that certain statements herein which are not historical facts, including, without limitation those regarding expectations for market growth and developments; expectations for growth and profitability; and statements preceded by "believes", "expects", "anticipates", "foresees", or similar expressions, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Since these statements are based on current plans, estimates and projections, they involve risks and uncertainties, which may cause actual results to materially differ from those expressed in such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: (1) operating factors such as continued success of manufacturing activities and the achievement of efficiencies therein, continued success of product development, acceptance of new products or services by the Group"s targeted customers, success of the existing and future collaboration arrangements, changes in business strategy or development plans or targets, changes in the degree of protection created by the Group"s patents and other intellectual property rights, the availability of capital on acceptable terms; (2) industry conditions, such as strength of product demand, intensity of competition, prevailing and future global market prices for the Group"s products and the pricing pressures thereto, price fluctuations in raw materials, financial condition of the customers and the competitors of the Group, the potential introduction of competing products and technologies by competitors; and (3) general economic conditions, such as rates of economic growth in the Group"s principal geographic markets or fluctuations in exchange and interest rates.


Stora Enso is an integrated paper, packaging and forest products company producing publication and fine papers, packaging boards and wood products, areas in which the Group is a global market leader. Stora Enso sales totalled EUR 12.2 billion in 2003. The Group has some 44 000 employees in more than 40 countries in five continents and about 15.7 million tonnes of paper and board annual production capacity and 7.4 million m3 of sawn wood products, including 2.8 million m3 of value-added products. Stora Enso"s shares are listed in Helsinki, Stockholm and New York.

Stora Enso Oyj


Kanavaranta 1 00160 Helsinki, Finland P.O. Box 309 FIN-00101 Helsinki, Finland Tel.: +358 2046 131 Fax: +358 2046 21471

www.storaenso.com
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