BillerudKorsnäs CEO Says Integration Progress Better Than Expected

"The first full quarter as the new BillerudKorsnäs has come to an end and the integration of the two companies is progressing very well." – Per Lindberg, President and CEO, BillerudKorsnäs.

April 23, 2013 - BillerudKorsnäs' chief executive said that the integration of Korsnäs is moving along better than expected and that the company now expects synergies of the combined companies to reach SEK 530 million. In June of 2012, when the initial agreement was announced, Billerud anticipated synergies to be about SEK 200 million.

“The first full quarter as the new BillerudKorsnäs has come to an end and the integration of the two companies is progressing very well," said Per Lindberg, President and CEO of BillerudKorsnäs. "We have therefore increased the target with SEK 200 million for our integration program to approximately SEK 530 million in synergies, savings and increased efficiency. Non-recurring costs for realising the synergies and savings will increase to approximately SEK 200 million, but are clearly justified given the expected savings. The sales process of PM2 in Gävle is also progressing according to plan and we expect to be able to fulfill the requirements from EU concerning our acquisition of Korsnäs.

"Our adjusted operating profit for the quarter of SEK 432 million is in line with expectations given current environment. The currency situation with a very strong Swedish krona is putting high pressure on our operating profit and the negative impact quarter on quarter is SEK 68 million. Given the strong krona, it is pleasing to see that the integration generates positive savings effects beyond our initial expectations.

"The trading situation in the first quarter was somewhat slow but stable. The market situation varied between our business areas, and while Packaging Paper faced a slightly slower than normal market, Consumer Board experienced a more satisfactory and normal market and the Containerboard’s market was rebounding and strong. Overall, we are still waiting for a European pick-up, and as a consequence increasing our sales efforts in emerging markets.”

SOURCE: BillerudKorsnäs