Billerud’s net sales for the Q1 2023 grew by 55% to SEK 11,495 million ($1.1 billion), compared to SEK 7,397 million ($721 million) in Q1 2022. Net sales excluding currency effects increased by 51%, mainly due to the acquisition of Verso, which was completed on 31 March 2022. Billerud North America (former Verso) had net sales of SEK 3,311 million ($332 million) and sales volumes of 235 ktonnes. The total sales volume for the Group in the Q1 was 943 ktonnes, negatively impacted by a softer demand and inventory adjustments by customers. The organic and currency neutral net sales growth for the Group was 6%.
Adjusted EBITDA amounted to SEK 1,484 million ($144 million), whereof Billerud North America contributed an EBITDA of SEK 628 million ($61.2 million). The EBITDA margin declined to 13% due to elevated costs for raw materials, mainly in Europe, and a more challenging market situation with reduced demand, only partially offset by higher sales prices.
Q1 2023 net profit was SEK639 million ($626.3 million), compared to SEK884 million($86 million)in the Q1 2022.
Christoph Michalski, President and CEO, says: “The Q1 organic and currency-neutral net sales grew by 6% compared to the corresponding period last year, mainly because of higher sales prices. Our sales volumes were negatively impacted by customers’ destocking due to an inventory-build in the downstream value chain, as well as lower demand for some product categories. The Group’s Q1 result and EBITDA margin was dampened by temporary elevated costs for raw materials in combination with the challenging market conditions with slower demand. The regions Europe and North America continued to show different margin profiles mainly due to historically high wood prices in Europe.”
Billerud is one of the leading manufacturers of packaging paper made from virgin fibers.