5 May 2017
Smurfit Kappa Group plc today announced results for the 3 months ending 31 March 2017.
First Quarter Key Points
Group revenue growth of 6% (3.7% on a days adjusted basis)
EBITDA of €278 million with margin of 13%
ROCE at 15.0% in line with Group target
Improved free cash flow year-on-year
Containerboard price increases in both Europe and the Americas implemented and ongoing
Proposed final dividend for 2016 of 57.6 cent per share, a 20% increase year-on-year, payable on 12 May
Performance Review and Outlook
Tony Smurfit, Group CEO, commented:
“We are pleased to report that SKG has again delivered a strong set of results. The Group reported good revenue growth of 6%, or 3.7% on a days adjusted basis, and EBITDA of €278 million versus the same period last year. These results, against a backdrop of significant recovered fibre cost inflation of approximately €30 million year-on-year, reflect the continued strength of our business. We expect improved margins as paper price increases translate into higher box prices.
“In the first quarter our corrugated volumes were generally good across most markets with the Group recording growth of 3%. With solid demand, tight inventories and higher input costs, containerboard prices across all grades have been, and continue to be increased. These increases have provided the backdrop for necessary box price increases which will be progressively implemented during 2017.
“We are also pleased to report that our cash flow and debt ratios improved in what is traditionally a softer quarter.
“The geographic spread of our business, the integrated model which we operate, the strongest suite of business applications in our industry, and, most importantly, the tremendously talented people that work in SKG, give us great confidence for our future.
“While there are always political and economic risks, and individual markets invariably have challenges from time to time, we are increasingly well positioned to capitalise on a positive pricing environment in 2017.”