SOUTH AFRICA – Pulp and paper company Sappi has posted a US$40 million net loss in the fourth quarter (Q4) of financial year 2023 (FY23), compared to net income of US$26 million in the same period last year.

In the quarter, the company’s reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), excluding special items, stood at US$168 million, compared to US$391 million reported in the same period a year ago.

Its earnings per share (EPS), excluding special items, for the period was $0.06, compared to $0.52 during the same period last year.

Sappi reported a full-year 2023 profit of US$259 million, compared to US$536 million the previous year.

The company’s full-year EBITDA, excluding special items, for FY23 was US$731 million, versus US$1.33 billion last year. The full-year EPS excluding special items was listed as $0.52.

In FY23, the company’s net debt decreased to US$1.08 billion, from US$1.16 billion reported in the previous year.

WestRock’s net sales declined by 7.7% in Q4 of FY23

Meanwhile, Westrock Company, a provider of sustainable paper and packaging solutions, has disclosed its financial performance for the fiscal fourth quarter (Q4) and full year ending 30 September 2023.

In the fourth quarter, WestRock’s net sales declined by 7.7% to US$4.99 billion compared to the same period last fiscal year.

The decrease was primarily driven by a 29.2% reduction in Global Paper segment sales, partially offset by a 5.8% increase in Corrugated Packaging segment sales.

Net income for Q4 2023 was US$109.8 million, a 68.1% decrease from Q4 2022.

Higher restructuring costs, lower selling price/mix and increased economic downtime contributed to the decline in net income.

The consolidated Adjusted EBITDA decreased by US$183.7 million, or 20.0%, compared to Q4 2022.

The company disclosed restructuring costs of US$344 million, with a gain of US$239 million on the sale of the interior partitions converting operations and Chattanooga mill.

For the entire fiscal year, WestRock reported net sales of US$20.3 billion. The net loss was US$1.6 billion, with an Adjusted Net Income of US$778 million.

The fiscal year results included a US$1.9 billion pre-tax, non-cash goodwill impairment and US$859 million in pre-tax restructuring and other costs, net. The consolidated Adjusted EBITDA for the full year was US$3.0 billion.

WestRock surpassed cost savings expectations, achieving more than US$450 million in run-rate savings by the end of fiscal 2023.

The company invested US$1.1 billion in capital expenditures and returned US$281 million to stockholders in dividend payments.