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Essity B 280.9 (-2.2 SEK) on 20-Apr-2021 09:59

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JANUARY 1 – DECEMBER 31, 2020
(compared with the corresponding period a year ago)

  • Highest adjusted EBITA and highest adjusted EBITA margin ever
  • Target raised for adjusted return on capital employed to above 17% by 2025
  • Net sales declined 5.6% to SEK 121,752m (128,975)
  • Organic net sales declined 1.9%
  • Sales were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns
  • In emerging markets, which accounted for 37% of net sales, organic net sales increased 2.6%
  • Operating profit before amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets (EBITA) increased 16% to SEK 17,567m (15,127)
  • Adjusted EBITA increased 11% to SEK 17,626m (15,840)
  • Adjusted EBITA margin increased 2.2 percentage points to 14.5% (12.3)
  • Adjusted return on capital employed increased 1.9 percentage points to 15.7% (13.8)
  • Profit for the period increased 15% to SEK 11,747m (10,212)
  • Earnings per share increased 11% to SEK 14.56 (13.12)
  • Adjusted earnings per share increased 5% to SEK 15.45 (14.69)
  • Cash flow from current operations decreased 15% to SEK 11,175m (13,208)
  • At an Extraordinary General Meeting on October 28, 2020, Essity resolved to pay a dividend of SEK 6.25 per share
  • The Board of Directors proposes an increase in the dividend of 8% to SEK 6.75 (6.25*) per share
 

SUMMARY OF FULL-YEAR AND FOURTH QUARTER 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on people and the global economy. Vaccinations have started and market conditions are gradually improving. Increased awareness of hygiene and health is positive for Essity. The COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns and restrictions had a negative effect on Essity’s sales which mainly impacted Professional Hygiene and Medical Solutions. Despite this, profitability has developed positively. In 2020, Essity achieved its highest adjusted EBITA and the highest adjusted EBITA margin ever. The target for adjusted return on capital employed was raised to above 17% by 2025.

During the year, Essity has:

  • Increased its market shares in many markets

  • Increased online sales to approximately SEK 15bn for the full year. Online accounted for 15% of net sales in the fourth quarter.

  • Accelerated the digital transformation and launched digital solutions, such as TENA SmartCare

  • Broadened its offering with face masks and expanded supply capacity for hand sanitizer

  • Improved underlying growth in Medical Solutions. Organic net sales for Wound Care increased 6.4% in the fourth quarter.

  • Increased organic net sales in emerging markets by 2.6% and the adjusted EBITA margin by 2.7 percentage points to 12.9%

  • Achieved continuous cost savings of SEK 1,056m and launched the Manufacturing Roadmap

  • Acquired the MedTech companies ABIGO Medical AB and Novioscan

  • Made a non-binding indicative proposal for the acquisition of additional shares in Asaleo Care Limited

  • Significantly strengthened the balance sheet and financial position, which enable a higher rate of acquisitions.

  • Qualified for the Dow Jones Sustainability Europe Index

  • Reduced its carbon emissions by 11% according to Essity’s Science Based Targets, Scope 1 and 2

In 2020, organic net sales declined 1.9%. The adjusted gross margin increased 3.0 percentage points to 32.5%. Adjusted EBITA increased 11% and the adjusted EBITA marginal increased 2.2 percentage points to 14.5%. Adjusted return on capital employed increased 1.9 percentage points to 15.7%. Earnings per share increased 11% to SEK 14.56.

At an Extraordinary General Meeting on October 28, 2020, Essity resolved to pay a dividend of SEK 6.25 per share. The dividend was paid on November 4, 2020. For the 2020 fiscal year, the Board of Directors proposes an increase in the dividend of 8% to SEK 6.75 per share.

The Group’s organic net sales declined 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns and restrictions had a negative effect on Essity’s sales which mainly impacted Professional Hygiene and Medical Solutions. Organic net sales for retail increased 5.4%. The Group’s organic net sales in mature markets declined 5.1%. In emerging markets, which accounted for 39% of net sales, organic net sales increased 6.5%. The adjusted gross margin increased 1.0 percentage point to 32.7%. Adjusted EBITA, excluding exchange rate effects, increased 2%. The Group’s adjusted EBITA margin increased 0.1 of a percentage point to 14.2%. Adjusted return on capital employed increased 0.3 of a percentage point to 16.1%. Earnings per share amounted to SEK 3.76.
 

FUTURE REPORTS

Essity’s Annual Report for 2020 is intended to be published during the week starting March 1, 2021. In 2021, interim reports will be published on April 23, July 16 and October 22.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Essity’s Annual General Meeting will be held in Stockholm on March 25, 2021.

INVITATION TO PRESENTATION OF THE YEAR-END REPORT 2020

In conjunction with publication, a telephone and web presentation will be held where President and CEO Magnus Groth will present and answer questions.

Presentation
Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Time: 9:00 a.m.

Link to web presentation: https://essity.videosync.fi/2021-01-27-q4
To participate by telephone, call: +44 (0)207 192 80 00, +1 631 510 74 95 or +46 (0)8 506 921 80. Please call well in advance of the start of the presentation. Specify “Essity” or conference ID no. 7569943.
 

Stockholm, January 27, 2021
Essity Aktiebolag (publ)
 

Magnus Groth
President and CEO
 

This report has not been reviewed by Essity’s auditors.
 

For further information, please contact:

Fredrik Rystedt, CFO and Executive Vice President, +46 (0)8 788 51 31
Johan Karlsson, Vice President Investor Relations, Group Function Communications, +46 (0)8 788 51 30
Joséphine Edwall Björklund, Senior Vice President, Group Function Communications, +46 (0)8 788 52 34
Per Lorentz, Vice President Corporate Communications, Group Function Communications, +46 (0)8 788 52 51

NB:

This information is such that Essity Aktiebolag (publ) is obligated to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. This report has been prepared in both Swedish and English versions. In case of variations in the content between the two versions, the Swedish version shall govern. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact person set out below, at 7:00 a.m. CET on January 27, 2021.

Karl Stoltz, Media Relations Manager, +46 (0)8 788 51 55

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