Finnish–Swedish Stora's profit drops owing to wood products

By Margarita Snegireva. Stora Enso said on Tuesday its fourth-quarter operating profit, excluding one-offs, would fall clearly year-on-year due to very poor results at its Wood Products unit.

Europe's largest paper and board maker said market conditions for the Wood Products business continued to weaken in the latter part of 2007.

Analysts' median forecast for fourth quarter 2007 operating profit was for 198 million euros ($285 million), according to Reuters Estimates, compared with 186 million euros reported in the same quarter of 2006.

The forecasts ranged from 155 million to 317 million euros.

Stora Enso Oyj is a Finnish–Swedish pulp and paper manufacturer, formed by the merger of Swedish mining and forestry products company Stora and Finnish forestry products company Enso-Gutzeit Oy in 1998. It is headquartered in Helsinki, and it has approximately 46,000 employees. In 2002 it was the fifth largest pulp and paper manufacturer in terms of revenue and in 2005 it was the world's largest pulp and paper manufacturer in terms of production capacity. The Finnish State is the biggest shareholder in the company.

Stora was, by one count, the oldest existing corporation or limited liability company in the world. Originally known as Stora Kopparberg, it was granted a charter from King Magnus IV of Sweden in 1347. The first share in the company is however dated already in 1288 and mining in the mountain had started possibly much earlier.

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