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Draw a year-to-date chart of Sappi vs Mondi and you’ll observe something interesting. Despite both companies taking trees and turning them into useful products (admittedly with different focus areas), Sappi is up 24% this year and Mondi is down 22% (at time of writing, at least — both can experience sharp moves over just a couple of days).

This is a spectacular divergence caused by factors beyond Mondi’s control. As Putin’s army moved into Ukraine, Mondi’s share price nosedived. Though the group operates in more than 30 countries, the Russian operations contributed 12% of group revenue in 2021 and had averaged 20% of group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) over the past three years. The group has been in Russia for more than 22 years...

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