Forestry companies branch out of paper
Stanlib reports that Sappi and Mondi have grown from their South African roots into global operators
In 2007, Amazon released an e-reader called the Kindle. In 2010, Apple launched the highly successful iPad. These, and similar technological innovations, reduced demand for printing. Paper and pulp companies Sappi and Mondi appeared to be in long-term decline.
But they have bounced back strongly. In the past three years up to the end of August 2018, Mondi has delivered a total shareholder return of 53% and Sappi 146%, ranking them both in the top 10 of JSE performers. Stanlib expects this outperformance to continue, for various reasons. Sappi and Mondi, which are now in the “forest products” sector and have grown from their South African roots into global operators, have stepped up to the challenges and transformed their businesses. As a result, both companies have a significantly better long-term return, profit margin, and growth prospects.