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Earnings fall at Smurfit Kappa, but it remains opens for business

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A Smurfit Kappa corrugated packaging factory in the UK

A Smurfit Kappa corrugated packaging factory in the UK

Bloomberg

A Smurfit Kappa corrugated packaging factory in the UK

Paper packaging giant Smurfit Kappa has reported a fall in earnings for the first three months of this year, however the group has been designated an essential business and remains operational.

The company recorded earnings of €380m in the three months to 31 March, down from €424m in the same period last year.

Group margins were 17pc.

Revenue in the first quarter of this year fell to €2.2bn, from €2.3bn, according to a trading update from the group.

In light of the current global uncertainty the company is suspending its final dividend in respect of last year.

Smurfit Kappa said it has been deemed an essential business in generally all of the countries in which it operates.

It added that it has a “critical” role in the fight against Covid-19, with its packaging being used in a number of supply chains including the delivery of medical equipment, pharmaceutical, food and sanitation products.

Tony Smurfit, group CEO, said: “During these uncertain times, we have a heightened focus on cost reduction while maintaining our market-leading innovation and sustainability offering.

While the full extent and effects of the macro and economic risks brought on by Covid-19 are unclear, SKG remains very well positioned both financially and operationally.”

At the end of March the group had liquidity of over €1.5bn, average debt maturities of over five years, no bond maturity until 2024.

The company said it estimates that its capital expenditure will reduce this year to €500m-€55om from a previous guidance of €615m.

Online Editors