Portucel Soporcel’s paper sales declined notably during the third quarter 2011. Compared to the second quarter, total sales dropped by 3.8%. On the European market, a reduction in demand that had been observed since the beginning of the year, intensified significantly during quarter three, the group said. Consumption of uncoated woodfree paper dropped by 5% in the first nine months of 2011, whereas cut-size papers proved to be the most resilient with a reduction in consumption of only 1%.
Moreover, the group said, that although the benchmark price for paper in Europe has held relatively steady over the period, the group's average sale price was slightly down on the quarter.
For the first nine months of 2011, the group had to post an operating result of €190.6m, which reflects a decline of 10.2% year-on-year. Net earnings for the period were at €144.1m compared to €154.3m in the first nine months of 2010.