Holmen Profit Beats Estimates as Paper Plants Shuttered

Holmen AB (HOLMB), the supplier of pink paper to the Financial Times, posted third-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates after the company scaled back unprofitable newsprint production.

Net income fell to 207 million kronor ($32.6 million) from 249 million kronor a year earlier, the Stockholm-based company said in a statement today. Analysts on average predicted profit of 192.1 million kronor, according to eight estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales declined 6.9 percent to 3.94 billion kronor.

Holmen has been closing newsprint production units and cutting its workforce as newspapers and magazines move online, reducing demand for paper. The company is seeking to boost profit by focusing on products for other industries, such as catalog publishers, and expanding shipments to faster-growing countries such as India and China.

“Demand for printing paper continued to decline but the market balance for newsprint is good as a result of shutdowns,” the company said. “There was a significant increase in income from paperboard.”

Holmen rose as much as 1.7 percent and was trading up 1.2 percent at 218.5 kronor as of 2:03 p.m. in Stockholm. The stock has gained 14 percent this year, valuing the company at 18.5 billion kronor.

To contact the reporter on this story: Natasha Doff in London at ndoff@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Risser at drisser@bloomberg.net

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