Tuesday 17 September 2019

Smurfit Kappa seeks 'significant' rise in dividend as interim earnings jump

Smurfit Kappa chief executive Tony Smurfit. Photo: Jason Clarke
Smurfit Kappa chief executive Tony Smurfit. Photo: Jason Clarke
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Packaging giant Smurfit Kappa is recommending a 10pc increase in its interim dividend to 27.9 cent per share after a strong start to the year.

Barry Dixon, analyst at Davy Stockbrokers, said the increase was "significant."

"Not only does it signal management's confidence in the sustainability of profits and cash flow, it may also point to a more generous dividend policy in the future," he said.

Earnings at the group jumped 17pc to €847m in the six months to June 30, while revenue was up just over 4pc to €4.6bn. The performance was driven by both organic growth and the impact of acquisitions.

The company spent €190m on businesses in Bulgaria, Colombia and Serbia over the six months.

CEO Tony Smurfit said he was "highly confident" of another year of progress and delivery.

"The continued execution of our medium-term plan together with our resilient business model allows us to continue to progress and deliver consistently excellent performance," Mr Smurfit added.

Shares in the company were relatively unchanged in trading yesterday.

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