Sweden's Setra narrows operating loss to 43 Swedish Kronor in Q4, 2011, from 70 Kronor a year earlier; CEO says quarter negatively impacted by 'substantial production restrictions'

SOLNA, Sweden , January 27, 2012 (press release) – The wood products company Setra reports net sales of SEK 4,476 million (4,641) for the full year 2011. Net sales for the fourth quarter amounted to SEK 1,076 million (1,153). Operating loss for the period January-December amounted to SEK 42 million (+134) and the loss for the period October-December was SEK 43 million (+22).

“The decline in earnings compared with the previous year is mainly explained by an imbalance between selling prices and raw material costs,” says Börje Bengtsson, President and CEO of Setra. “The pressure on margins, however, was partly compensated by a 10% increase in delivery volumes of sawn and processed wood products during the year. In the fourth quarter we implemented substantial production restrictions which had a negative impact on the period. A gratifying factor is the positive cash flow of approximately SEK 200 million during the year, mainly due to stock reductions.

“Despite the political turbulence, the North African market, which accounts for approximately 20% of Setra’s total sales, has provided a stable base for our sales in an otherwise fairly dismal wood products market,” says Bengtsson. “North Africa is a region with a young and growing population with a major need to develop housing and infrastructure. Wood will continue to be an important material in this region.

“It is positive that our sales volumes to north European countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark, increased during the year. Setra’s total order backlog at the beginning of the new year is good. This indicates that there can probably be a little light at the end of the tunnel ahead of 2012,” says Bengtsson.

KEY FIGURES (SEKm) Oct-Dec 2011 Jan-Dec 2011
Net sales 1,076 (1,153) 4,476 (4,641)
Operating profit/loss -43 (-70) -42 (134)
Proft/loss after tax -35 (-64) -59 (67)

- Decision to invest SEK 60 million in a new trimmer at the sawmill in Skinnskatteberg.
- Decision to invest SEK 37 million in expanded drying capacity at Hasselfors sawmill.
- Moulding production unit in Kvarnåsen sold.
- Subsidiary Plusshus started a new factory in Skellefteå.
- New managers appointed for Heby and Vimmerby sawmills.

Setra does not publish a complete year-end report.

Setra is one of Sweden’s largest wood products companies and a leading player in Europe. We offer ecocertified wood products for interiors and construction to customers in the building materials trade and industry. Setra has 1,000 employees and annual sales of approximately SEK 4.5 billion. Exports to Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Japan account for almost 60% of sales.

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