Navigator profits fall 10.6% to €64.1 million to March

 In Companies, News, Paper and Paper Pulp

First quarter net profits at Portuguese paper and paper paste company The Navigator Company fell 10.6% to €64.1 million. Last year it made €71.7 million in Q1.

However the company’s business turnover stood at €536 million, up 7% like-for-like on 2023.

The group believes that several international events could boost profits this year including many elections in different markets, and sporting events such as the Olympic Games in France and the Euro Cup in Germany. Ticketing, fliers, posters and election ballot papers provide good business for paper and paper paste producers.

The company’s EBITDA was €133 million, an increase of 2% on March 2023, while the margin on EBITDA was 25% (down 1.2%).

Navigator says that its results benefited from an increase in turnover and a positive evolution in variable costs, but points out that wood free uncoated paper (UWF) prices began to recover in Q1.

“Since November a new round of paper price increases took place in Europe and overseas and in April Navigator UWF went up by 3% in Europe, 9% in overseas markets and 5% in the total sales mix”.

The company went on to state that the “results to March had shown a good start to the year with a favourable demand for paper and paper paste that was already being felt in the second half of 2023.

However, the group admits that that there could be a slowdown in the second half of this year, regardless of major world events that usually boost paper sales.

Navigator is prepared for a fall in growth in its order books in Q2 which it has been experiencing since the second half of 2023.

However, it warns that the world geopolitical context, weak growth — particularly in Europe – and high level of uncertainty can impact the level of demand.

In Q1 the group invested a total of €41 million, in line with the €42 million invested in Q1, 2023.

The company’s net debt at the end of March was €443.6 million, up €92.2 million on the same month in 2023.