* Comparable EBIT falls 37% to 215 million euros
* Sees significant fall in full-year earnings
* Shares fall as much as 5% (adds details, analyst comment)
HELSINKI, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Quarterly profits at Finland’s UPM fell more than a third due to weak paper and pulp markets, and the forestry firm said it saw pandemic-related uncertainty continuing into 2021.
The company said on Tuesday prices for paper used in advertisements and publications had decreased by 5%, and warned of significantly lower comparable earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) for the full year.
UPM had seen a pick-up in demand for labelling materials and for pulp used in soft tissues and packaging earlier in the pandemic, but Chief Executive Jussi Pesonen said these markets had somewhat normalised in the third quarter.
Quarterly comparable (EBIT) fell 37% year-on-year to 215 million euros ($254 million).
UPM’s shares fell as much as 5% and at 1325 GMT were down 2.6% at 24.96 euros.
Third-quarter sales tumbled 19% to 2.03 billion euros, due to lower deliveries of graphic papers as well as lower pulp and paper prices.
UPM announced vast cost and job cuts in the quarter, including the closure of its Kaipola paper mill in Finland and the sale of its Shotton paper mill in Wales, to help deliver annual savings worth around 130 million euros.
“While cost saving measures are positive, uncertainty remains in graphic paper given further industry capacity closures are needed,” Jefferies analyst Cole Hathorn wrote in a note.
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