Ebitda nok 242 million (nok 255 million) in the 1st quarter

Borregaard’s operating revenues increased to NOK 1,372 million (NOK 1,250 million)¹ in the 1st  quarter of 2020. EBITDA² was NOK 242 million (NOK 255 million). BioSolutions (ligninbased biopolymers and biovanillin) and BioMaterials (speciality cellulose and cellulose fibrils) had results in line with the 1st quarter of 2019, whereas Fine Chemicals (pharma intermediates and bioethanol) had a decline. The Group has not been materially impacted by the coronavirus situation during the 1st quarter of 2020.

BioSolutions had a positive development within Specialities, while both BioMaterials and Fine Chemicals had an unfavourable product mix in the quarter. Operating costs were higher due to increased transatlantic shipments, maintenance and an IT transition project. Wood costs were gradually reduced during the quarter, but less than expected.

The net currency impact on EBITDA² was positive. Towards the end of the 1st quarter, NOK weakened significantly. Borregaard’s sales are primarily in USD and EUR, and a weakening of NOK will over time be positive for the Group’s competitive position. However, at the end of the quarter, the Group’s equity and net interest-bearing debt were negatively affected by unrealised losses from currency hedging, realised effect of hedging of net investments in subsidiaries and translation effects on loans in USD.

Profit before tax was NOK 111 million (NOK 141 million). Earnings per share were NOK 1.02 (NOK 1.26).

-  We are pleased to see a favourable development for Specialities in BioSolutions. So far, the impact from the coronavirus situation has been limited on our business, says President and CEO Per A. Sørlie.