The Group’s net sales increased 5.6%
The Group’s net sales increased 5.6% and the earnings per share increased 21% for the second quarter of 2018 compared with the corresponding period a year ago. During the quarter, six innovations were launched that strengthened Essity’s customer and consumer offering. To increase efficiency within Consumer Tissue, further restructuring measures were decided, as a part of Tissue Roadmap.
Organic net sales increased 2.3%, of which volume accounted for -0.1% and price/mix for 2.4%. Volumes increased in Personal Care and Professional Hygiene. In Consumer Tissue volumes decreased due to restructuring measures within the scope of Tissue Roadmap, entailing lower sales of mother reels and lower volumes in emerging markets due to price increases. In emerging markets, which accounted for 35% of net sales, organic net sales increased 4.0% while the increase in mature markets was 1.4%.
The Group’s adjusted EBITA in the second quarter of 2018 declined 3% compared with the corresponding period a year ago. Earnings were positively impacted by a better price/mix in all business areas, higher volumes and cost savings. The cost savings continued at a high pace and amounted to SEK 355m. Raw material prices have increased sharply. The market price for pulp is about 35% higher compared with the corresponding period a year ago. There was also a significant increase in the market price for oil-based raw materials.
In total, higher raw material costs had a negative impact of SEK 1,144m on the Group’s earnings for the quarter, which corresponds to a negative impact on the adjusted EBITA margin of -4.0 percentage points. The achieved price increases in Consumer Tissue did not offset the higher raw material costs and the intention is therefore to implement further price increases. The Group’s adjusted EBITA margin decreased 0.9 percentage points to 11.3%. The adjusted return on capital employed was 12.3%, and adjusted return on equity was 15.9%. Operating cash flow increased 6%.
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