* Core profit 2.93 bln SEK vs consensus 2.78 bln
* Biggest market Europe was flat in H1
* Shares up 2.5 pct
* Biggest business tissue beats consensus
(Adds detail, background, analyst)
STOCKHOLM, July 18 Swedish hygiene and paper
products maker SCA on Friday reported a big increase
in second-quarter profit on the back of growing demand from
emerging markets, cost cuts and a tissue company acquisition in
SCA, Europe's biggest maker of tissue and largest private
forest owner, said demand for tissue and personal care products
was stable in Europe, where it still has the bulk of business
but was up in emerging markets.
Last year, SCA became main owner in the third-largest tissue
firm in China, the world's second-largest tissue market, as part
of plans to grow in emerging markets. SCA expects these markets
to have attractive long-term potential due to increasing wealth.
The global market for tissue where SCA competes with
Georgia-Pacific, Kimberly-Clark and Sofidel, is valued
at slightly more than 410 billion crowns and is growing by 4
percent annually, according to SCA.
The company's operating profit before restructuring costs
and other one-offs at was 2.9 billion crowns ($425.2 million) in
the quarter, against a mean forecast of 2.8 billion in a Reuters
poll of analysts and a year-ago 2.3 billion.
Profit at the tissue and forest products businesses
increased on the back of cost savings, higher volumes and higher
prices while profit at the personal care unit decreased hit by
higher raw material costs.
"Tissue was strong, better than expected," said David
Hallden, analyst at UBS. "It's a very strong report throughout".
The tissue business, which makes up more than half of group
sales, sells toilet paper and tissues under brands such as Tork
and Edet. The personal care unit sells feminine care,
incontinence and baby diapers under brands such as Libero and
Shares in SCA were up 2.5 percent to 175.90 crowns at 1115
GMT, outperforming the blue-chip Stockholm index.
($1 = 6.8199 Swedish Crowns)
(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom and Rebecka Roos. Editing by Jane