Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

No gain without pain for European paper makers

August 20, 2008

The current slew of bad news was necessary to get European forestry companies to act, the head of the world’s top paper and board maker Stora Enso said on Wedstora_ceo_web.JPGnesday.

For years the European paper industry has suffered from overcapacity, which has kept a lid on prices, while increasing costs of wood and energy have eaten into already low margins.

But Stora’s Chief Executive Jouko Karvinen, speaking at the Reuters Paper Industry Summit in Helsinki, said there has been a silver lining to the “perfect storm” of bad news.

“The good companies will come out of the storm stronger than they were ever before,” he said.

“And as bad as the past eight years have been, and as much as we complain about every possible problem right now, I have one thought: there may be a good thing with this storm. Maybe we will finally get our act together and make decisions that need to be made and start making some real money one day. It will take a little time, but that’s the goal,” he said.

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