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Essity reports half-year results

Essity has reported a year-on-year net sales increase of 8.6% to SEK 62,724m in its half-year report and said new innovation launches have strengthened its customer and consumer offering.

Compared to the same period a year ago, emerging markets accounted for 37% of net sales and saw an organic net sales increase of 9.6%.

Operating profit before EBITA increased 5% to SEK 6,412m while higher raw material and energy costs had a negative impact of SEK 1,300m on earnings.

Profit for the period increased 15% to SEK 4,430m.

During the quarter the group continued to report strong organic net sales growth and the adjusted EBITA margin rose.

It added that the implemented price increases had a positive impact on organic net sales growth and profitability.

President and chief executive Magnus Groth said: “Our investments in sales and marketing, primarily in Asia and Latin America, contributed to higher growth.

“In addition, we launched innovations that strengthened our customer and consumer offering and improved the product mix.

“For example, in China we re-launched Feminine Care with Libresse V-Comfort and invested in local production.

“In Incontinence Products, we strengthened our product offering in the healthcare sector with TENA ProSkin.

“Efficiency efforts are according to plan and we have achieved significant cost savings.

“Our raw material and energy costs were higher during the quarter, although the market prices for such items as pulp are demonstrating a declining trend, albeit from a high level.

“In terms of our ongoing activities to contribute to a sustainable and circular society, we have established additional sustainability targets for packaging with a special focus on plastic packaging.

“We have also decided to invest in sustainable alternative fibre technology for tissue production.” The group’s net sales increased 7.9% in the second quarter of 2019 compared with the corresponding period a year ago.

The group’s adjusted EBITA in the second quarter of 2019 increased 11% compared with the corresponding period a year ago.

Earnings were positively impacted by higher prices and volumes as well as a better product mix and cost savings.

Cost savings amounted to SEK 322m, of which SEK 147m was related to the group-wide cost-savings programme, which has proceeding according to plan.

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