In 2016, net sales in the Tissue business area amounted to approximately SEK 68bn. The globally leading brand for AfH tissue, Tork, is Tissue’s largest brand, a “billion dollar brand” with annual net sales exceeding SEK 15bn. At the end of the year, SCA had production at 59 plants in 20 countries.
Shifts in global demographics such as population growth – due primarily to a lower infant mortality rate and increased longevity – and higher disposable incomes point to continued favorable growth for tissue products. The effect of higher disposable incomes is that more people prioritize hygiene when food and housing needs have been, or are in the process of being, satisfied. Consequently, demand for tissue products is rising in emerging markets. The growth potential for tissue products is also greatest in emerging markets where market penetration is significantly lower than in mature markets and where urbanization, improved infrastructure and the retail trade are evolving rapidly. One example of the lower market penetration in emerging markets is that tissue consumption per capita per year in Eastern Europe is only about one-third of that in Western Europe. Growth is also occurring in mature markets owing to lifestyle changes and innovations that lead to increased use. Market growth is positively impacted by global hygiene and health trends and increased awareness of the importance of hygiene to improve health and avoid diseases, especially in emerging markets.
In 2016, the European market for consumer tissue showed low growth and increased competition. The European and North American markets for AfH tissue showed low growth. Growth was slightly higher in Europe than in North America. The Chinese tissue market showed higher demand.
SCA’s competitors in tissue include Georgia-Pacific, Hengan, Kimberly-Clark and Sofidel.