(RTTNews) – Stora Enso (SEOAY.PK) Friday posted slightly lower pre-tax profit for the first quarter, but sales rose more than 3 percent during the quarter, backed by higher deliveries and prices.

On IFRS basis, profit before tax slid by nearly 40 percent to 125 million euros, and earnings per share declined by 5.7 percent to 0.18 euro.

However, excluding IAC and fair valuations, profit before tax surged to 292 million euros from 126 million euros, while earnings per share before fair valuations rose to 0.22 euro from 0.11 euro.

Operational EBIT during the quarter rose by 82.4 percent to 328 million euros, due to lower costs. Operational EBIT, excluding paper, was higher at 362 million euros, driven mainly by higher sales prices.

Sales for the quarter increased by 3.1 percent to 2.276 billion euros from 2.207 billion euros. Sales, excluding paper, increased by 14.3 percent.

Looking ahead, the Group said it expects operational EBIT in 2021 to be higher than the 2020 operational EBIT as guided earlier.

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