The Navigator Company has recorded its highest-ever turnover against what it described as a backdrop of “unprecedented” global contraction in demand across most segments.
Turnover in the quarter was €501m while it reported EBITA of €130.7m and net results of €71.7m.
Paper sales accounted for 64% of turnover, pulp sales 13%, tissue sales 10%, energy sales 10% and packaging 3%.
The company said that after a year of “strong supply shortages”, the first quarter of 2023 was marked by the accumulation of a high stock volume in the whole distribution chain, significantly affecting demand in all paper and packaging segments, except the tissue segment.
It also said the first quarter witnessed “a significant reduction” in pulp prices coming from historical highs.
“The benchmark index for short fibre pulp (hardwood) in Europe – PIX BHKP in dollars – reached historical highs in 2022 (1,380 USD/ton) – and figures did readjust in the first quarter, standing at the end of March at 1,280 USD/ton, a 7% drop compared to the beginning of the year, dropping further since then (1.101 USD/ton on May 9).
“The benchmark index in China for hardwood pulp also fell by 12% compared to the beginning of the year, standing at the end of the quarter at 709 USD/ton and falling further since then (500 USD/ton on May 9).”
However, Navigator added that despite the major geopolitical and economic unpredictability, and fluctuating pulp markets, it was continuing to pursue its investment plan in tissue and packaging.
It said its tissue segment has continued to strengthen its customer base and reported that tissue demand in the first quarter of 2023 “proved to be extraordinarily resilient globally”.
Navigator said this ensured “a good performance as regards the sale of finished products amidst a scenario of favourable prices, and witnessed a 27% growth year-on-year.”
On 31 March 2023, the company announced it had completed the acquisition of all shares representing the share capital of Spain’s Gomà-Camps Consumer and French company Gomà-Camps France.
The integration of the new plant is understood to have added 35,000 tons of tissue paper production capacity, reaching a total of 165,000 tons, and increasing the converting capacity by 60,000 tons to 180,000 tons.
The Gomà-Camps company now operates under the name Navigator Tissue Ejea.
Navigator added that it will continue along its diversification, product development and investment route, especially in the tissue and packaging segments.