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STOCKHOLM, April 27 (Reuters) - Sweden's SCA, which is preparing a split into two firms, posted on Thursday a slightly bigger adjusted quarterly operating profit than expected for its hygiene operations but an unexpected drop in operating profit for forest products.
Operating profit before items affecting comparability for the hygiene products business grew to 2.90 billion crowns ($331 million) from a year-ago 2.71 billion, against a mean forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts of 2.85 billion.
Operating profit for the forest products business shrank to 498 million crowns from 533 million, against an expected increase to 566 million.
SCA said preparations for the spin-off and listing in Stockholm of the hygiene business, under the name Essity, are proceeding and it aims for the two companies to start trading separately in June.
SCA separately announced new targets for the hygiene business, of annual organic growth above 3 percent and adjusted return on capital employed of above 15 percent.
$1 = 8.7680 Swedish crowns Reporting by Anna Ringstrom and Helena Soderpalm