DS Smith has issued its Q1 interim management statement for the three month period to July 31 and recently hosted a presentation for financial analysts and institutional investors in Brussels.
The recycled packaging supplier announced despite the European markets remaining a challenge, corrugated volumes have continued to improve, with growth in line with its medium term financial target of GDP +1%.
According to Miles Roberts, Group CEO, DS Smith, the current year has started well and in line with ‘continued strong delivery’ from the acquisition of SCA Packaging.
Raw materials & paper
“GDP for our regions was about flat and our volumes have been certainly above 1% growth, so we are actually a bit better than the GDP plus 1%. But it is just only one quarter. The UK's volumes in the period are broadly flat,” he said.
“As an industry, the price of raw materials and paper, it's been quite a challenging time the last 10, 12 months. It certainly hasn't been an easy time by any means either in terms of profitability of things like paper and the end markets.
“Obviously we don't plan for it, but it would be nice to see the end markets lifting up and the profitability of things like paper improving. That would be beneficial.”
Ex Tesco financial director
Roberts told shareholders the company was turning its attention to the next stage of growth and has hired Adrian Marsh former finance executive at Tesco, as group finance director who will start at the end of September.
Prior to Tesco, Marsh was European CFO at AstraZeneca and CFO Global Building Products at Pilkington.
He replaces Steve Dryden, who announced in January he was stepping down as the group's financial director in June to take up a role in a private equity-backed business.
“Whilst the European market backdrop remains challenging we are on track to make further significant progress this year and are excited about the growth opportunities for the Group,” said Roberts.
“When you've had a successful acquisition where the customers respond well, the employees, the works council, it makes it very attractive for other companies to want to join, for they only have to talk to the guys who are working in DS Smith who've joined through acquisition.
“At DS Smith it's about the quality of the growth and we're very focused on the FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) sector because of the consistency of volume.”
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