29.7.2004: Meldung: Stora Enso 2nd Quarter Results

Second Quarter Results (compared with previous quarter)
Stora Enso"s earnings per share were EUR 0.06 (EUR 0.06 excluding non-recurring items). Operating profit was EUR 58.5 (EUR 103.4 excluding non-recurring items) million, which is EUR 44.9 million less than in the previous quarter and 1.9% of sales. Profit before taxes and minority interests amounted to EUR 49.0 (EUR 80.8 excluding non-recurring items) million. There were no non-recurring items in the second quarter

Sales at EUR 3 102.9 million were up 2.8% on the previous quarter"s EUR 3 017.9 million due to higher deliveries. Cash flow from ongoing operations was EUR 138.5 (EUR 173.2) million and cash flow after investing activities EUR -186.7 (EUR -54.2) million. Cash earnings per share were EUR 0.43 (EUR 0.41). Net financial items were EUR -26.2 (EUR -20.3) million, or -0.02 per share. Market-related production curtailments totalled 98 000 (125 000) tonnes.

Commenting on the outlook, Stora Enso"s CEO Jukka Härmälä said, "In Europe the economic outlook is more positive than in the first quarter. The economic recovery is still moderate; nevertheless, paper demand, especially in fine paper grades, is improving. Price increases are expected in fine paper grades during the second half of the year. In magazine paper grades demand is improving, but in coated magazine paper the imbalance between supply and demand will keep the pricing environment competitive. Packaging board demand and prices are expected to remain stable. In wood products whitewood supply and demand are expected to stay in balance, but the redwood market will remain oversupplied."

In North America print advertising expenditure continues to improve and competing paper imports have moderated. Previously announced price increases in coated and uncoated magazine paper and coated fine paper are being implemented. Speciality paper demand continues to strengthen and price rises have been achieved. Operating rates are expected to remain strong. Stora Enso North America"s financial performance is forecast to improve significantly during the second half of the year as a result of the Profit Enhancement Programme and more favourable market conditions.

In Asia the markets for fine paper are seasonally slowing down. Prices are stabilising, having increased in the second quarter.

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. +358 2046 21450
Kari Vainio, EVP, Corporate Communications, tel. +44 7799 348 197
Keith B Russell, SVP, Investor Relations, tel. +44 7775 788 659

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