UPM timber division records €2m operating profits

8 August 2012

UPM’s forest and timber division has recorded €2m second-quarter operating profits excluding special items.

The result becomes a loss if special costs of €43m - relating to the restructuring of UPM's sawn timber and further processing operations - are factored in.

The group's interim report says sales were €473m, higher than the first quarter and the same quarter in 2011.

Operating profits excluding special items for the first half of 2012 were €4m (2011: €20m).

UPM said sawn timber deliveries grew seasonally in the second quarter, compared to the first three months, with sales prices increasing.

"In the first half of 2012, Finnish wood market activity improved compared with the same period last year," it said.

It said sawn timber demand n northern Europe and North Africa was stable, with weak demand continuing in southern Europe.

UPM's plywood division recorded second-quarter operating profits of €5m, compared with a loss of €1m in the first quarter. Sales totalled €101m, up from €96m in the previous quarter but down 6% from a year ago.

Plywood deliveries decreased by 8% to 175,000m3, but higher sales prices and lower fixed costs offset the impact of lower delivery volumes.

Overall, UPM said plywood demand had declined in the first half, while the demand-supply balance improved in spruce plywood mainy due to some delivery problems from overseas resulting in lower spruce imports to European markets.

Extension and modernisation work at the Savonlinna mill was completed during the second quarter, with the improved mill officially opened in June.