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Smurfit Kappa to invest $33m in Brazilian plant


Tony Smurfit

Tony Smurfit

Tony Smurfit

Paper packaging giant Smurfit Kappa is investing over $33m (€29m) at its plant in Fortaleza, Brazil, to meet the growing demand for innovative and sustainable packaging.

The expansion, which includes the installation of a new corrugator, will “significantly” extend the plant’s ‘Shelf Ready Packaging’ capability for fast-moving consumer goods customers in a range of sectors including fresh fruit, home appliances and pharmaceuticals, according to a statement from the company.

Several high-end printers will also be installed to provide the level of precision and quality that is required for e-commerce packaging.

In addition, a new innovation centre will help provide greater customer collaboration and enhance the development of “sustainable and market-leading” packaging, according to the company.

“Today’s announcement will ensure Smurfit Kappa can support our customers to gain even more share in their markets. The combination of an innovation centre and state-of-the-art technology will provide greater opportunities to collaborate with customers to deliver innovative, inspiring and sustainable solutions,” Manuel Alcala, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Brazil, said.

With around 46,000 employees in over 350 production sites across 36 countries, Smurfit Kappa is one of the leading providers of paper-based packaging solutions in the world.

The company is located in 23 countries in Europe, and 13 in the Americas. In 2020 the group, headed by CEO Tony Smurfit, recorded revenue of €8.5bn.

“Almost 30pc of the total Brazilian population resides in the north-east region, and Fortaleza offers the perfect platform to strengthen our presence in this attractive and fast-growing part of the country,” Laurent Sellier, CEO of Smurfit Kappa the Americas, said.

“Brazil is an essential market for Smurfit Kappa and we are excited to dedicate significant resources of the company’s global investment plan to expand our presence in the north-east.”

The company will release 2021 full year results on Wednesday, February 9. The company recorded double-digit growth in its earnings and revenue for the first nine months of last year on the back of increasing demand.

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Revenue at the Dublin-listed group grew by 15pc year-on-year to €7.3bn in the nine months to September 30.

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