Peter Oswald, MM CEO, comments: “The MM Group grew significantly in terms of profit and sales, both organically and through acquisitions, in a macroeconomically and geopolitically challenging environment in the financial year 2022. Demand for our natural, recyclable packaging products made of renewable raw materials was dynamic for most of the year and customers appreciate our investments in competitive sites, innovation and sustainability. The energy and raw material crisis confronted MM with particular challenges, which were overall successfully managed. Sales price adjustments compensated for the severe rise in energy and raw material costs. In addition, we succeeded in ensuring continuous supply to our customers despite unstable supply chains.
The acquisitions of Essentra Packaging and Eson Pac, completed in 2022, position MM as a global player in secondary pharma packaging and contribute to more resilience and growth throughout our business. Together with the two acquisitions of the previous year in the Board & Paper division, MM Kwidzyn and MM Kotkamills, they are part of the transformation of MM to increase value and growth abilities of the MM Group through acquisitions and operational optimization.
Despite an increasing market weakness in cartonboard and paper from the end of the 3rd quarter onwards, due to the well-stocked supply chain and thus considerable market-related machine downtime in this area, the MM Group recorded a strong overall increase in profit in 2022. The growth in operating profit from EUR 269.6 million to EUR 510.3 million mainly results from the division MM Board & Paper due to improved operations as well as the full-year inclusion of the previous year’s acquisitions. In contrast, the operating profit of MM Packaging decreased due to one-off expenses despite a favorable organic growth of approximately 5 %.
In line with the good profit development and long-term dividend policy, a dividend increase to EUR 4.20 per share (2021: EUR 3.50) for the financial year 2022 will be proposed to the 29th Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on April 26, 2023.”
The Group’s consolidated sales reached EUR 4,682.1 million, which is 52.5 % or EUR 1,612.4 million above the previous year’s figure (2021: EUR 3,069.7 million). On the one hand, this rise resulted from the previous year’s acquisitions in the MM Board & Paper division as well as the company purchases of MM Packaging in the reporting year and, on the other hand from passing on costs through higher prices.
At EUR 510.3 million, an operating profit of EUR 240.7 million above the previous year (2021: EUR 269.6 million) was achieved. The significant rise is attributable to the division MM Board & Paper. One-off expenses in this division resulted in particular from the reorganization of production at the Slovenian cartonboard mill MM Kolicevo, which had to be recognized at an amount of EUR 24.6 million in the 4th quarter. In the division MM Packaging, one-off effects mainly related to the incidental transaction costs for Essentra Packaging and Eson Pac and the sale of the Russian sites in the amount of EUR 15.0 million as well as expenses connected to the exit from the Russian market totaling EUR 32.5 million contrasted with income from the sale of the packaging sites in Russia in the amount of EUR 20.1 million. In the previous year, one-off expenses from the initial consolidation of MM Kwidzyn and MM Kotkamills in the amount of EUR 26.3 million as well as from adjustment and restructuring measures in the Packaging division in the amount of EUR 20.1 million had to be recognized. This was offset by one-off income from the sale of the Eerbeek and Baiersbronn virgin fiber-based cartonboard mills in the amount of EUR 46.1 million (after incidental transaction costs). The Group’s operating margin therefore increased to 10.9 % (2021: 8.8 %), the return on capital employed to 16.3 % (2021: 12.8 %). EBITDA rose by EUR 308.9 million to EUR 729.9 million (2021: EUR 421.0 million), the EBITDA margin reaching 15.6 % (2021: 13.7 %).
Financial income amounted to EUR 4.3 million (2021: EUR 3.3 million). The increase in financial expenses from EUR -24.4 million to EUR -32.1 million primarily results from the issuance of Schuldschein loans and Namensschuldverschreibungen in the previous year to finance the acquisitions and organic growth projects. “Other financial result – net” changed to EUR -15.5 million (2021: EUR -4.0 million), in particular owing to foreign exchange effects.
Accordingly, profit before tax rose by EUR 222.4 million to EUR 466.9 million, after EUR 244.5 million in the previous year. Income tax expenses totaled EUR 121.7 million (2021: EUR 53.8 million), resulting in an effective Group tax rate of 26.1 % (2021: 22.0 %).
Profit for the year thus increased by EUR 154.5 million to EUR 345.2 million (2021: EUR 190.7 million).
- Sales EUR 4.7 billion (+53 %)
- Operating profit EUR 510 million (+89 %)
- Profit for the year EUR 345 million (+81 %)
- Solid financing: Net debt/EBITDA 2.0
- Dividend proposal: EUR 4.20/share (+20 %)
- Weak order situation in 1Q 2023