Sunday 21 January 2018

Smurfit Kappa pre-tax profits jump 58pc as it announces new CFO

Tony Smurfit, left, who recently succeeded former CEO Gary McGann, right, pictured at Smurfit Kappa AGM
Tony Smurfit, left, who recently succeeded former CEO Gary McGann, right, pictured at Smurfit Kappa AGM
Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

Smurfit Kappa, the Irish packaging giant, has reported a 58pc jump in its pre-tax profits while revenue in the firm remained mostly static, rising to €8.1bn.

Volume growth in the firm grew by 6pc with underlying growth of 3pc when excluding acquisitions. Over the course of the year Smurfit made €380m worth of acquisitions.

The group's results show pre-exceptional earnings per share growth of 21pc while the firm's EBITDA grew by 0.2 percentage points up to 14.6pc.

Smurfit Kappa chief executive, Tony Smurfit, said the firm was pleased with its performance in 2015.

"We invested over €380 million in acquisitions in 2015 to strengthen and diversify our geographic reach and drive earnings. During the year we invested €450 million to optimise the asset quality in our system and our investments in high return capital investment projects are now also delivering incremental EBITDA growth," he said.

"We are continually enhancing the breadth and depth of our service offering for customers, while consistently lowering operating costs through our supply chain," he continued.

Free cash flow in the group rose 7pc to €388m while the firm's net debt jumped 11pc to €3.05bn.

The firm's return on capital employed stood at 14.8pc.

Meanwhile Smurfit has also announced Ken Bowles as the man to succeed Ian Curley as the group's chief financial officer. Mr Bowles will replace Mr Curley, who is stepping down, on April 1.

Smurfit's chairman, Liam O'Mahoney, said: "On behalf of the board, we express our gratitude to Ian for his significant contribution to the successful development of the Group during his time with the Group and in particular the past 16 years as chief financial officer. We wish him well for the future.”

Tony Smurfit said: "We are pleased to have an executive of Ken Bowles’ calibre to succeed Ian as group chief financial officer. Ken has held a number of senior financial roles in the Group and has been central to the strong performance of the broader corporate and finance team over the last number of years.”

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