LISBON, July 29 (Reuters) - Portuguese paper pulp producer
Altri said on Thursday its net profit rose almost five
fold to 44.8 million euros ($53 million) in the first half of
the year, boosted by price increases and a progressive recovery
in global demand.
Sales increased 17.9% to 386.9 million euros after the
company sold 595,000 tons of paper pulp, of which 96% were
exported to markets outside Portugal.
The company said in a statement it took advantage of a
progressive recovery in demand in most markets, accompanied by
successive announcements of price increases.
Chief Executive Jose Pina said the company had a strong
operational and financial performance, with quarterly and
half-year production and sales records.
"The company demonstrated that it is prepared to face this
challenge (the pandemic), with resilience, creativity and a
focus on delivering results," he said.
Altri said the international PIX price for bleached hardwood
kraft pulp rose to $865 a ton as of June from $680 at the end of
Core earnings or EBITDA increased around 73% to 108.8
million euros in the first half and its operating margin
improved to 28.1% from 19.2% in the same period of 2020.
Although Altri sees "more stability" in pulp prices in the
second half, there were "consistent signs of solid demand in
Europe", it said.
($1 = 0.8419 euros)
(Reporting by Sergio Goncalves
Editing by David Holmes)