Absorbing pandemic shocks, the country's paper manufacturers are making a comeback on growing demand following the reopening of the economy, and educational institutions.
Most listed paper firms witnessed a higher profit in the July-September quarter of the current fiscal year.
A leader of the industry at the Bangladesh Paper Mills Association (BPMA), seeking anonymity, said the paper industry had faced a big blow following the Covid outbreak in the country, but it is now bouncing back following the reopening of the economy.
"Although the scenario is not like the pre-pandemic level, the industry hopes to recover by next year if another disaster does not hamper the business again," he added.
As educational institutions were closed for a long time following the Covid-19 outbreak, the paper companies had witnessed a blow due to declining demand for the products.
Sources in the industry said, due to the closure of educational institutions, and the prolonged general holidays, paper manufacturers plunged into deep trouble for lower demand for their products.
But those who have manufactured paper, and paper products like tissues and hygiene products had done well despite the crisis in the paper segment, the sources added.
As per data available with the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), six firms, including market leader Bashundhara Paper Mills, are listed on local stock exchanges.
The four paper companies have posted higher profits in the first quarter of the 2021-22 fiscal year compared to the same time a year ago.
Two firms are incurring losses for lower sales in the July-September period.
One firm's factory has been shuttered down temporarily following a court order to freeze all of its bank accounts.
Bashundhara continues good sales and profit
Despite a business halt in the 2020-21 fiscal year, Bashundhara Paper Mills (BPML) – a concern of Bashundhara Group – has posted an 8% growth in revenue.
It has continued its growth in revenue, and profit in the July-September quarter.
During this period, its revenue grew 1% and profit 31% on increasing sales of products.
Its profit rose to Tk6.81 crore from Tk5.18 crore from the same time of the previous fiscal year while the earning per share (EPS) stood at Tk0.39, which was Tk0.30.
"After reopening the educational institutions, our businesses grew significantly," M Mazedul Islam, company secretary of Basundhara, told The Business Standard.
"We hope the company will recover from the pandemic shock very soon."
Sonali paper profit boost from other income
Sonali Paper & Board Mills – a concern of Younus Group – has posted a 28% growth in revenue.
Its unaudited financial reports say the net profit climbed 957% riding on big jumps in other income from realised, unrealised, and cash dividend income.
Its profit rose to Tk12.18 crore from Tk1.15 crore in the July-September quarter of FY21.
Besides the income from product sales, its revenue is boosted by other income.
Its net profit rose to Tk12.18 crore, which was Tk1.15 crore for the same period the previous fiscal year. In its profit, the other income segments added Tk12.03 crore.
Monospool Paper and Paper Processing post big jumps
Bangladesh Monospool Paper Manufacturing Company and Paper Processing & Packaging posted higher profit in the July-September quarter this year.
During the period, Monospool Paper's profit rose 163% and its EPS stood at Tk0.29 from Tk0.11 at the same time a year ago.
On the other hand, Paper Processing & Packaging posted a 3,850% higher profit.
Its EPS rose to Tk0.79 from Tk0.02 in the same period of the previous fiscal year.
Two firms incur losses
Two paper manufacturing firms Hakkani Pulp & Paper Mills, and Khulna Printing & Packaging Limited incurred losses in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.
Hakkani Pulp & Paper was in profit in the July-September period of fiscal 2020-21, but this fiscal year, it fell into losses.
The loss per share stood at Tk0.49 at the same period of the previous fiscal year and its EPS was Tk0.022.
Khulna Printing & Packaging has temporarily closed down its factory after the court had ordered the authorities to freeze all bank accounts of its chairman and the company.
The loss per share of the company stood at Tk1.03 and in the same period of the previous year, it also incurred losses.