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Covid-19 pandemic is affecting global health and creating some uncertainty and volatility in the business environment. Stora Enso Investor Relations has received some questions from investors and analysts related to the Covid-19 and its impacts on our business operations. Please find below some typical questions and answers.
A: Stora Enso takes active and precautionary measures to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. The Covid-19 impacts on employees and contractors remained stable and under control during the second quarter.
Protecting employees and contractors health and safety during the pandemic has been Stora Enso's key priority. By being proactive and having extensive measures in place, the Group has also been able to continue operations and serve customers with minimal disruptions. Stora Enso has secured the health and safety of its employees by various measures and closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation. All business travel is restricted. All visits to Stora Enso for physical meetings are banned. We have instructed our employees to monitor their health, follow the advice of the health authorities, and remote working is encouraged in the workplaces where this is possible. The use of face masks has been required in accordance with the official instructions. Our Sourcing & Logistics team provides ongoing guidance regarding visits by contractors and suppliers.
A: Improved global economy and Covid-19 related recovery supported the overall demand for Stora Enso products during the quarter. The pandemic has led to a surge in e-commerce globally, which has increased demand in our containerboard and corrugated packaging businesses. In Consumer Board business, we provide vital packaging materials to our customers, many of whom serve the medical, hygiene and food industries. The demand in these end usages has remained healthy throughout the pandemic. In Wood Products, demand and prices for classic sawn continued to improve due to a favourable balance in the supply and demand. The pandemic has increased renovation and DIY (“Do it yourself”) building activities, which has strengthened demand for our sawmilling products.
The Covid-19 pandemic continued to negatively impact on our Paper division’s business performance. In Q2/2021, paper prices were clearly lower y-o-y due to global paper market challenges. However, European paper demand improved significantly in Q2/2021 from last year as a result of the Covid-19 related recovery.
A: Covid-19 has not caused any production disturbances on our units in the second quarter of 2021. As a company, our duty is to ensure the health and safety of our colleagues and to make sure we can continue to provide important materials to our customers, many of whom serve the medical, hygiene and food industries.