Mondi said it expects to benefit from stable to higher selling prices in a number of key product segments as it moves into 2017 following the downward pressure seen over the course of 2016. "Costs remain generally stable, albeit with near-term pressure in certain areas," the company said in a statement. "Our ongoing capital investment programme continues to deliver strong returns. "With our clear strategy, robust business model and culture of continuous improvement, we remain confident of continuing to deliver an industry leading performance." PERFORMANCE "Underlying operating profit for the third quarter of 2016 of EUR227 million was 3% above the comparable prior year period (EUR221 million). As anticipated, generally lower average selling prices and a significantly lower fair value gain on forestry assets resulted in a 12% reduction in underlying operating profit from the second quarter of 2016 (EUR259 million). "On a like-for-like basis, sales volumes of our key paper grades were in line with the comparable prior year period. "Of our key input costs, wood and chemical costs remained stable during the period. Energy costs were down on the comparable prior year period due to lower energy prices and the benefits of various energy efficiency investments. "While we continue to benefit from the energy investments completed in 2015 at Swiecie, prices achieved for green energy resulting from these investments were significantly lower than both the comparable prior year period and the second quarter and remain under pressure going into the fourth quarter. "The average cost per tonne of paper for recycling was up 8% on the comparable prior year period and up 10% on the second quarter. Polyethylene prices were down on the comparable prior year period and stable on the second quarter. "While generally weaker compared to the third quarter of 2015, the emerging market currencies in which we operate were relatively stable to stronger versus the Euro when compared to the second quarter of 2016. "We completed planned maintenance shuts at our Swiecie (Poland) and Ruzomberok (Slovakia) mills during the quarter. The estimated impact on operating profit was around EUR20 million (EUR35 million in Q3 2015) and we continue to estimate that the full year impact of planned maintenance shuts will be around EUR70 million (2015: EUR90 million). "In the fourth quarter, maintenance shuts are planned at the Richards Bay mill (South Africa) and at our kraft paper operations, with an estimated impact on operating profit of around EUR30 million (Q4 2015: EUR20 million). In 2015, the Richards Bay shut took place in the first quarter."
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