Business Irish

Thursday 20 September 2018

Smurfit Kappa confirms acquisitions in Russia and Greece as profits dip

Smurfit Kappa boss Tony Smurfit
Smurfit Kappa boss Tony Smurfit
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Profit before tax at Irish packaging giant Smurfit Kappa fell by 9pc year-on-year to €170m in the three months to 30 September, despite a growth in revenue of 4pc to €2.1bn during the period.

The dip in profits was driven by fibre cost pressures, which resulted in a headwind of almost €40m for the company during the three month period, and €111m for the year-to-date compared to 2016.

Smurfit Kappa said that it would continue to offset these cost pressures through further corrugated price recovery and efficiency improvements.

Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortisation at the group also fell slightly in the three month period to €320m, down from €323m in the same period last year, according to the group’s third quarter results.

In announcing the results the group, which employs around 45,000 worldwide, confirmed that it had purchased a plant in Moscow, as well as a high-end display and corrugated business in Greece, as it continues to expand its geographic reach.

"Smurfit Kappa Group remains a disciplined acquirer and is committed to growth through acquisition where it creates long-term value for our shareholders and enhances the overall quality of our business," Tony Smurfit, group CEO, said.

The company performed particularly strong in the European market, where earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortisation increased 3pc year-on-year.

In the Americas earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortisation were down 8pc year-on-year, primarily as a result of increased input costs and currency headwinds.

Looking forwards the group said that it expects to deliver a full earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortisation in line with current market expectations and will enter into next year "with optimism and good momentum".

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