VANCOUVER, November 18, 2011 — The world’s forest, paper and packaging companies showed some recovery in their financial performance during 2010 following two previous exceptionally challenging years. Aggregate sales revenues for the largest 100 forest, paper and packaging companies increased by 9% to US$339.1 billion in 2010 from US$310.8 billion in 2009, reflecting a full year of both volume and sales price increases which began in late 2009.
The market recovery for forest and paper products also led to an improvement in net income, with the 100 largest firms posting aggregate profits of US$18.3 billion, over 3 times the 2009 profits of US$5.1 billion.
“The extent of the recovery was uneven across sectors and countries,” said Bruce McIntyre, leader of PwC Canada’s Forest, Paper and Packaging industry practice. “Input costs rose strongly, and export-oriented companies based in strong currency countries such as Canada did not perform as well due to continued US dollar weakness during 2010.”
The annual PwC Global Forest, Paper and Packaging survey, now in its 14th year, summarizes the publicly available year-over-year financial information of the PwC Top 100 -- the 100 largest forest, paper and packaging companies in the world, ranked by sales revenue.
The composition of the PwC Top 100 remained relatively stable. For the second year emerging market participation in the PwC Top 100 stalled, although those represented generally moved up the list. There were 11 Canadian forest, paper and packaging companies on the 2010 PwC Top 100 list – six from the West and five from the East. Two of these 11 companies, Interfor and Western Forest Products, were new to the list in 2010.
Canadian forest, paper and packaging producers in the 2010 PwC Top 100 list recorded sales revenue growth of 16% to US$26 billion from US$22 billion in 2009, in large part due to strengthening markets. Combined net earnings for the 11 Canadian companies in the list swung from a loss of US$2.0 billion in 2009 to positive net earnings of US$3.3 billion in 2010.
McIntyre added: “The improvement trend in the forest products sector during 2010 continued into the second quarter of 2011, although weaker prices and challenging economic conditions in key markets contributed to mixed results in the third quarter.”
A copy of the 2011 PwC Global Forest, Paper and Packaging Industry Survey is available for download.Follow PwC on Twitter at @PwC_Canada_LLP and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pwccanada.
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