STOCKHOLM, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Swedish hygiene products group Essity reported on Wednesday a rise in core fourth-quarter profit that roughly matched market expectations, helped by easing raw material and energy costs, savings, higher sales volumes and price hikes.
Operating profit before amortisation and items affecting comparability grew 37% from a year earlier to 4.74 billion crowns ($498.2 million). Analysts had on average forecast a 4.78 billion crown profit, according to a Refinitiv poll.
Essity’s board proposes a 9% increase in the annual dividend to 6.25 crowns per share. ($1 = 9.5139 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Simon Johnson)