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JANUARY 1 – MARCH 31, 2019
(compared with the corresponding period a year ago)
SUMMARY OF THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2019
We have continued our activities to increase profitability and implemented further efficiency improvements that have yielded significant costs savings. Our digital initiatives across all parts of the business have helped to enhance efficiency, quality and our offering to customers and consumers. In addition, we carried out price increases in all business areas. We continued to invest in our strong brands and launched innovations that have further reinforced our customer and consumer offering and improved the product mix. For example, within Incontinence Products, we launched TENA Silhouette and within Feminine Care, we launched intimate care products under the Bodyform brand. Our targeted efforts to build a winning corporate culture are yielding results and Essity has been named Sweden’s most attractive employer in 2019 by Randstad.
The Group’s net sales increased 9.4% in the first quarter of 2019 compared with the corresponding period a year ago. Organic net sales, excluding the lower sales of mother reels, increased 5.1%. Including the lower sales of mother reels, organic net sales increased 4.3%, of which volume accounted for 1.1% and price/mix for 3.2%. Organic net sales was positively impacted by higher volumes and prices and a better product mix in all business areas. In emerging markets, which accounted for 37% of net sales, organic net sales increased 9.1%, while the increase in mature markets was 1.8%.
The Group’s adjusted EBITA in the first quarter of 2019 increased 2% compared with the corresponding period a year ago. Earnings were positively impacted by higher volumes, higher prices, a better product mix and cost savings. Cost savings amounted to SEK 295m, of which SEK 109m was related to the Group-wide cost-savings program. The program is proceeding according to plan and at the end of the first quarter of 2019, the annual rate of savings was approximately SEK 530m. Higher raw material and energy costs had a negative impact of SEK -1,017m on earnings, which corresponds to a negative impact on the adjusted EBITA margin of -3.5 percentage points. Furthermore, higher distribution costs had a negative impact on earnings. The Group’s adjusted EBITA margin decreased 0.7 percentage points to 10.4%. The adjusted return on capital employed was 11.3%. Operating cash flow increased 10%. Earnings per share increased 20% to SEK 2.49.
INVITATION TO PRESS CONFERENCE ON INTERIM REPORT Q1 2019
Media and analysts are invited to a press conference, where this interim report will be presented by Magnus Groth, President and CEO.
Time: 9:00 a.m. CET, Thursday, April 25, 2019
Location: Essity’s headquarters, Waterfront Building, Klarabergsviadukten 63, Stockholm, Sweden
The press conference will be webcasted live at www.essity.com. To participate by telephone, call: +44 (0) 207 192 80 00, +1 631 510 74 95 or +46 8 506 921 80. Please call well in advance of the start of the conference. Specify “Essity” or conference ID no. 2778769. Link to webcast: https://essity.videosync.fi/2019-04-25-q1
Stockholm, April 25, 2019
Essity Aktiebolag (publ)
President and CEO
For further information, please contact:
Fredrik Rystedt, CFO and Executive Vice President, +46 (0) 8 788 51 31
Johan Karlsson, Vice President Investor Relations, Group Function Communications, +46 (0) 8 788 51 30
Joséphine Edwall-Björklund, Senior Vice President, Group Function Communications, +46 (0) 8 788 52 34
Per Lorentz, Vice President Corporate Communications, Group Function Communications, +46 (0) 8 788 52 51
This information is such that Essity Aktiebolag (publ) is obligated to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. This report has been prepared in both Swedish and English versions. In case of variations in the content between the two versions, the Swedish version shall govern. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact person set out below, at 07:00 CET on April 25, 2019. This interim report has not been reviewed by the company’s auditors.
Karl Stoltz, Media Relations Manager, +46 (0) 8 788 51 55