Thursday 23 November 2017

Powerflute profits fall as earnings hold steady

Dermot Smurfit
Dermot Smurfit
Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

Dermot Smurfit's Powerflute has reported a €3.6m fall in profits during the first six months of the year, despite earnings during the period staying level at €26.5m.

Earnings per share at the company rose to 4.5c per share while net debt at the paper and packaging firm increased to €42.9m.

In July the firm refinanced €120m of its borrowing facilities, which it says will result in a significant decline in its interest payments.

The dip in profits may be skewed slightly due to restructuring costs and other costs in relation to its acquisition of Corenso in December.

Chairman Dermot Smurfit was pleased by the company's performance in the first half of the year.

"The integration of the Corenso businesses acquired in December 2014 is now substantially complete and our coreboard and cores division has delivered an increase in profits compared with the prior year as the benefits of operational initiatives launched in 2015 are now being realised.

"In Packaging Papers, a decision to implement the planned annual maintenance shutdown during the first half of the year together with more challenging market conditions resulted in profits below the record performance achieved in 2015."

"Markets are expected to remain competitive throughout the second half of the year. Despite this, we expect to make further progress with operational improvement initiatives in both coreboard and cores and Packaging Papers and expect that the Group will continue to perform well for the remainder of the year," he said.

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