Paper and packaging group Mondi reported underlying EBITDA for the third quarter of €383 million ($422 million), 18% down on than the same period last year (€466 million)
A slide in average selling prices from the highs reached towards the end of 2018 and into early 2019, coupled with the anticipated lower forestry fair value gain, more than offset the benefits of ongoing profit improvement initiatives, Mondi said in a trading update.
Like-for-like sales volumes were, on average, marginally lower than the comparable prior-year period as a result of lower industrial bags and uncoated fine paper volumes; these were partly offset by growth in corrugated packaging. On average, costs were higher than a year ago, although lower than the previous quarter.
At the Uncoated Fine Paper unit, Mondi said that, compared with Q2 2019, it saw lower average uncoated fine paper prices, significantly lower pulp selling prices and, as anticipated, a materially lower forestry fair value gain. Strong cost control and shorter planned maintenance shuts could only partly offset these pressures.
Mondi also announced a reorganisation of the group into four business units: corrugated packaging, flexible packaging, engineered materials and uncoated fine paper. These changes have not impacted the Uncoated Fine Paper division, which has a leading position in the European and South African markets.