HELSINKI, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- The operating profit of Finland-based forestry products company Stora Enso declined in the July-September period to 145 million euros (171 million U.S. dollars), from 170 million euros one year ago, announced the company in its report on Tuesday.
But Finnish business daily Kauppalehti said the company's profit still exceeded the expectations of analysts.
Stora Enso's sales in the third quarter (Q3) of 2020 decreased by 13.5 percent to 2,079 million euros from 2,402 million euros a year ago, due to lower deliveries and prices, according to the report.
Annica Bresky, president and CEO of Stora Enso, said Tuesday in Helsinki that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted most strongly paper production. The decline in the demand for the paper had slowed down in comparison to Q2.
The company also announced that its Pure Fiber trademark products to replace plastics in food service are now commercially available. To meet the demand, the company's investment in production capacity has increased in Qian'an, northern China's Hebei Province, as well as in Sweden, Bresky said.
Commenting on the Chinese market, Bresky said the domestic market there for folding cardboard boxes is recovering. She noted that the wood product market is picking up in China, adding there is a healthy demand for pulp in China, though depending on the end use -- hygiene use.
Stora Enso has reduced its paper production. It has completed divestment from the Dawang paper mill in Dongying in eastern China's Shandong Province, and is converting paper mill in northern Finland's Oulu to packaging board and will also cease production in Hylte, southwestern Sweden.
Formed in 1998, Stora Enso is a big manufacturer of pulp paper and other forest products, headquartered in Helsinki. The majority of its sales take place in Europe, but there are also significant operations in Asia, North America and South America. (1 euro = 1.18 U.S. dollars)