Describing it as another year of ‘growth, returns and momentum’, the corrugated giant saw revenue reach £4.06bn (up 6%), adjusted operating profit at £379m (up 13%), and adjusted profit before tax at £332m (up 12%).
The company said it had continued to outperform the market with growth in all regions, and strong organic corrugated box volume growth of 3.1%. It also said there was excellent growth from pan-European customers and the e-commerce sector.
DS Smith made five acquisitions in the year, performing ahead of expectations and continued to invest capital strategically.
However, in the UK, sales slipped 5% to £864m after DS Smith closed the Wansbrough paper mill.
The packaging giant bought Duropack, an Austria-based recycled corrugated cardboard business, for €305m, Spain-based Lantero for €190m, as well as Cartonpack in Greece and TRM Packaging in the north-west of England.
Miles Roberts, group chief executive, said the company grew 10 organically and 6% from acquisitions.
With pan-European customers increasingly requiring an international partner which designs and produces high quality packaging, he said DS Smith also works collaboratively with them to manage their supply chains and drive sales in a multi-channel retail environment.
“The excellent growth that we have delivered over the last six years demonstrates the success of this strategic focus. Looking ahead, while economic conditions remain uncertain, our innovation-led offering and the scale of our business means that we are confident about further growth and sustainable returns in the years ahead.”
David Cheetham, market analyst at XTB.com, said: “Arguably the most impressive aspect of the report is the fact that all regions showed growth in trading volumes last year, contributing to a 6% increase in total revenue.
“This latest update places the firm on a solid base from which it can attempt to retest the highs of the past 12 months that now sit within striking distance.”
Connor Campbell, senior market analyst at www.spreadex.com, added: “After a rather robust year of acquisitions (to put it mildly, the company spent €600 million on M&A activity in the last 12 months) DS Smith reaped the rewards this Thursday, posting a 1% rise in pre-tax profit to £201m million alongside a 6% surge in revenue to $4.06 billion. Those strong figures, alongside the prospect of an international future with its DS Smith China venture later in the year, sent the stock 4.5%, pleasing those Spreadex clients who had been backing the packaging company in the run-up to these results.
Source: Packaging News | Jobs | Production | Design | Innovation » News