Tony Smurfit, CEO; Liam O’Mahony, Chairman and Ken Bowles, CFO, Smurfit Kappa
Smurfit Kappa Group sees significant year-on-year improvement across all key metrics, including revenue growth and final dividend.
The company has seen revenue increase by 7% year-on-year and group EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) grow 22% to €340 million.
These results show the ongoing benefits of the company’s capital investment programme. As well as this, Smurfit Kappa has also continued to implement pricing initiatives and has experienced good demand growth – revenue has hit the €2,168 million mark.
Though a lower average recovered fibre costs of €17 million was attained, this was offset by other higher costs and a negative currency translation impact, which occurred due largely to the fall of the US dollar versus the euro.
Other key figures were:
Increased return on capital employed (ROCE): 16.1%
Proposed final-year dividend for 2017: 64.5% per share, a 12% increase, year-on-year, payable on the 11 May.
Last Friday, Smurfit Kappa held its annual general meeting (AGM).
Liam O’Mahony, Chairman of Smurfit Kappa said of the first quarter results:
Our trading update outlines a strong performance in the first quarter with 22% growth in EBITDA to €340 million and significant year-on-year improvement against all key metrics.
He continued: “Trading in the second quarter remains very encouraging. We also continue to implement our medium-term plan which will enhance our operating platform for sustained growth.”
Smurfit Kappa’s growth figures are no surprise given its rich history in Ireland.
Group CEO Tony Smurfit was Business & Finance‘s Business Person of the Month for March 2018 and has been a recipient of the award on previous occasions.
Smurfit commented on the results by saying:
Smurfit Kappa Group has again delivered a strong set of results with significant improvement across all key metrics. We have momentum in price recovery in our corrugated business, demand remains robust and paper markets remain tight.
He continued: “Trading in the second quarter remains very encouraging with good demand across most regions, continued corrugated price recovery and lower sequential recovered fibre costs. For the year, while recovered fibre pricing remains uncertain, we have strong momentum in the business and expect continued corrugated price recovery and execution of our medium-term plan, further enhancing SKG’s [Smurfit Kappa Group’s] operating platform for sustained growth. We are excited about our prospects in the short-, medium- and long-term and expect our 2018 EBITDA to be materially better than 2017.”