Smurfit Kappa’s revenue boosted by strong sales

Paper and packaging group reports 10 per cent jump in quarterly revenues

Smurfit Kappa chief executive Gary McGann. Photograph: Alan Betson/Irish Times

Smurfit Kappa chief executive Gary McGann. Photograph: Alan Betson/Irish Times


Paper and packaging group Smurfit Kappa has reported a 10 per cent increase in quarterly revenues on the back of strong European and South American sales.

The company said third-quarter revenues rose to €2.02 billion from €1.83 billion in 2012 while operating profit grew by 9 per cent to €303 million.

Profits before income tax rose by 2 per cent to €104 million from €102 million, the company’s figures showed.

The company said it had raised prices for recycled containerboard by €30 per tonne at the beginning of this month, which reflected good market conditions across Europe.

The group’s European revenues rose by €45 million in the third quarter due to higher containerboard pricing and despite negative currency movements, the company said.

“Packaging volume growth has remained solid throughout the year, and European box volumes continue to grow ahead of the general market.”

Shipments for Europe benefited from an additional working day in the third quarter, the company said, noting that corrugated volumes in the group’s Polish, UK and Benelux operations performed strongly with adjusted volume growth of 10 per cent, 7 per cent and 4 per cent respectively.

The group’s operations in the Americas enjoyed a €141 million bounce in revenue and saw earnings increase by €35 million as a result of strong underlying volume and revenue growth throughout the region, in particular Venezuela.

The company said Colombian demand continued to show signs of recovery with corrugated volumes growing 2 per cent year on year.

However, in Argentina, the domestic market continues to experience low growth levels and challenging economic conditions, it said.

“The group’s objective is to sustain top line growth through economic pricing, accretive acquisitions and effective capital investment,” chief executive Gary McGann said.

“The strength of our capital structure today together with our expectation of materially improved free cash flow continues to expand the available range of options to deliver and to drive value from 2014,” he said.