Sales also grow 4.4% to €10.48bn (2017: €10.04bn).

Stora Enso has invested in a new cross laminated timber (CLT) unit at the Gruvon sawmill. Commercial production will begin during the first quarter of 2019 as planned.

“I am additionally encouraged that we have taken an important step in securing our competitive raw material supply for the long term,” said Stora Enso’s CEO Karl-Henrik Sundstrom.

“We, together with the other shareholders, have signed a binding agreement aiming at completing the Bergvik Skog forestry transaction during the first half of 2019.”

Stora Enso also cited a risk of escalation in protectionist measures due to current geopolitical developments.

This, it said, could lead to global trade materially shrinking.

“This would have major knock-on effects for inflation, business sentiment, consumer outlook and ultimately global economic growth,” said Mr Sundstrom.

“Therefore, we have started to implement a profit protection programme of €120m to be kicked-off immediately, to better prepare for potential market weakness.”