JANUARY–DECEMBER 2021 (1–12/2020)
- Sales were EUR 6,017 million (5,055).
- Operating result was EUR 874 million (376). Comparable operating result was EUR 914 million (368).
- Result before taxes was EUR 832 million (330). Comparable result before taxes was EUR 872 million (322).
- Comparable return on capital employed was 16.2% (7.1).
- Net cash flow from operations was EUR 1,023 million (667).
OCTOBER–DECEMBER 2021 (10–12/2020)
- Sales were EUR 1,560 million (1,357).
- Operating result was EUR 221 million (97). Comparable operating result was EUR 220 million (94).
- Result before taxes was EUR 215 million (88). Comparable result before taxes was EUR 214 million (86).
- Comparable return on capital employed was 14.7% (7.4).
- Net cash flow from operations was EUR 427 million (306).
Events during the fourth quarter of 2021
- The average sales prices of pulp were roughly at the level of the previous quarter in Europe, while prices in China declined.
- Demand for Metsä Board’s paperboards remained strong and their average prices increased.
- In October 2021, the European Commission launched an investigation into Metsä Fibre as part of a wider EU-level antitrust investigation of companies active in the pulp sector.
- Metsä Group launched a ten-year programme outside commercial forests in Finland with which it supports development projects with regionally relevant impact improving biodiversity and the state of waters. The first projects to be funded were announced in January 2022.
- Metsä Board agreed on the divestment of the entire share capital of its subsidiary Oy Hangö Stevedoring Ab to Euroports Finland Oy. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2022.
The coronavirus pandemic
Metsä Group has three key priorities in its operations when it comes to stopping the coronavirus pandemic: personnel safety, full participation in combating the pandemic as part of society and ensuring business continuity. Metsä Group follows and complies with the guidelines issued by the authorities with regards to the coronavirus. Minimising physical contact is the most important precautionary measure.
Metsä Group’s resources have remained normal during the coronavirus pandemic. Production and deliveries have run normally, barring a few exceptions.
Events after the review period
On 28 April 2021, Metsäliitto Cooperative’s Representative Council approved the changes to be made in the Cooperative’s rules according to which new Metsä1 additional shares may be issued. The new Metsä1 additional shares will replace the A additional shares as the target of investment as of the beginning of 2022. New A and B additional shares can no longer be subscribed as of 1 January 2022, excluding a member’s possibility to subscribe A additional shares with equity bonuses earned prior to 2022. The A and B additional shares held by members will remain valid under the existing terms and conditions. A member may convert their A additional shares into Metsä1 additional shares with a conversion ratio of 1:1. Requests for the conversion of A additional shares have been accepted as of 1 October 2021, and the conversions based on requests received during 2021 were carried out on 1 January 2022, when a total of 680 million A additional shares were converted into Metsä1 additional shares.
Result guidance for January–March 2022
Metsä Group’s comparable operating result is in January–March 2022 expected to be roughly at the same level as in October–December 2021.
Proposal of the Board of Directors on the use of the surplus on the balance sheet
Metsäliitto Cooperative’s Board of Directors has decided to propose that an interest of 6.0% for 2021 be paid on the participation share capital invested by members (6.0% for 2020) and that an interest of 5.0% (5.0) on additional capital A and 1.0% (1.0) on additional capital B be paid for 2021. The Board of Directors also proposes that a surplus reimbursement of EUR 0.15 per cubic metre of industrial roundwood received from a member over the past four concluded financial periods be distributed. The surplus reimbursement will be paid primarily as Metsä1 additional shares, but in money for the part corresponding to the tax-at-source to be carried in terms of each member. The proposed payment date is 12 May 2022. If the member entitled to the surplus reimbursement resigns from the cooperative before the date of payment, this share of the surplus reimbursement shall not be distributed. In total, the proposed profit distribution would be approximately EUR 80 million (66), of which the surplus reimbursement based on the wood trade would be approximately 10%.
President and CEO Ilkka Hämälä:
"Metsä Group’s result for 2021 was excellent. It was supported by the paperboard market which remained strong during the fourth quarter, and in China, by the price and delivery volume of pulp which began to rise again. The coronavirus pandemic was present in the Group’s operations on every day of the year. Work at the mills was carried out according to special arrangements, and remote working was adopted as extensively as possible. The personnel performed their duties in an exemplary fashion, and work continued according to plans, with no disruptions.
The effects of the pandemic were visible in the markets in many ways. The economic stimulus measures activated construction operations and were a significant factor in the increased demand for sawn timber and engineered wood products. Besides the changes in consumer behaviour during the pandemic, the paperboard industry was impacted by the growth in food packaging, and in packaging materials, by the transition from plastics to fibre packaging and the use of fresh fibre, especially in the food segment. The tissue paper industry saw the effect that the restriction measures of societies had on public spaces’ tissue paper demand early in the year. During the second half of the year, the drastic increases in energy prices in Europe deprived Metsä Tissue of its chance for profitable operations.
The Group’s important investment projects and information system modernisation projects proceeded largely as planned, although cost inflation in construction materials and steel raised the cost estimates of Metsä Fibre’s and Metsä Board’s investments.
The global megatrends – urbanisation; demographic changes; economic growth, particularly in developing economies; and the transition from a fossil-based economy to renewable materials – guiding the Group’s business operations supported the result in 2021 and will steer the development of our business in the years to come."
|Sales, EUR million||6,017.0||5,054.9||1,560.2||1,357.2|
|EBITDA, EUR million||1,213.7||679.3||288.3||163.5|
|Comparable, EUR million||1,211.2||670.9||287.0||160.4|
|% of sales||20.1||13.3||18.4||11.8|
|Operating result, EUR million||873.6||375.8||221.2||96.8|
|Comparable, EUR million||913.8||367.7||219.8||94.0|
|% of sales||15.2||7.3||14.1||6.9|
|Result before income tax, EUR million||831.7||330.1||215.4||88.3|
|Comparable, EUR million||872.0||322.0||214.1||85.5|
|Result for the period, EUR million||657.0||262.2||164.3||72.2|
|Return on capital employed, %||15.5||7.2||14.7||7.7|
|Return on equity, %||15.1||6.8||13.9||7.5|
|Equity ratio, %||61.1||57.2||61.1||57.2|
|Net gearing ratio, %||-3.8||4.3||-3.8||4.3|
|Interest-bearing net liabilities, EUR million||-184.7||167.7||-184.7||167.7|
|Total investments, EUR million||994.2||400.5||357.3||134.1|
|Net cash flow from operations, EUR million||1,023.0||667.4||426.9||306.1|
|Personnel at the end of the period||9,533||9,213||9,533||9,213|
|Sales and Operating result
1–12/2021, EUR million
|Wood Supply and Forest Services||Wood Products Industry||Pulp and Sawn Timber Industry||Paperboard Industry||Tissue and Greaseproof Papers|
|Other operating income||3.7||6.0||20.3||57.0||11.7|
|Depreciation and impairment losses||-10.5||-20.3||-158.8||-90.2||-45.6|
|Items affecting comparability||0.0||0.0||34.5||10.8||0.0|
|Comparable operating result||36.4||18.6||648.2||386.6||-9.7|
|% of sales||1.8||3.2||24.7||18.6||-1.0|
The demand for wood focuses on regeneration and thinning stands to be harvested when the ground is unfrozen. Purchases of winter stands are steered according to need and the weather conditions. In energy wood, the demand focuses on crown wood and energy wood trunks. Demand for forest management services is expected to remain good.
The demand for and price development of Kerto LVL and plywood products is expected to remain good in the main markets, as construction activities remain robust. An increase and strong fluctuations in costs nevertheless introduce uncertainty to profitability. In Metsä Wood UK, demand is expected to experience seasonal improvement compared to the previous quarter.
Demand for long-fibre market pulp is expected to remain good in Europe and to grow in Asia. The global shortage in containers, impacting the Asian deliveries of European and North American producers, will place further strain on the Asian markets. The demand for sawn timber is expected to become stronger across all the main markets in the spring.
The demand for Metsä Board’s paperboards is expected to remain good in the company’s main market areas in Europe and the United States. The average prices of Metsä Board’s folding boxboard and white kraftliners are expected to rise. Paperboard delivery volumes in January–March 2022 are expected to increase compared to October–December 2021. No large-scale maintenance shutdowns at mills are set to take place in January–March 2022. Cost inflation is expected to continue.
Uncertainty about the impact that the pandemic will have on the short-term demand for products will continue in the countries in which Metsä Tissue operates. Demand for tissue paper products is expected to grow as restrictions imposed due to the pandemic continue to be lifted. Demand for greaseproof papers is expected to continue to grow slightly. To restore profitability, the company is responding to an increase in the costs of raw materials, energy and other costs with price increases and surcharges.