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Packaging And Design

DS Smith Flags Tough Market Conditions Despite Improved Volumes

By Reuters
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DS Smith Flags Tough Market Conditions Despite Improved Volumes

British cardboard maker DS Smith said its like-for-like corrugated box volumes have improved from levels seen in the first half of the financial year, but signalled that market conditions remain challenging.

The company, which operates in more than 30 countries and counts the likes of Amazon and Unilever as its customers, said overall trading and outlook for the remainder of the year remained in line with its expectations. Like-for-like volumes were flat since the second-half period started November 1, DS Smith said.

Packaging companies, which benefited from a boom in goods' sales and e-commerce during the pandemic-led lockdowns, had to grapple with softer demand and weak pricing in the past year as customers de-stocked amid tough market conditions.

Confident Outlook

DS Smith chief executive Miles Roberts said the group secured a number of recent contract gains, underpinning the firm's confidence in the outlook for volume growth.

"I am pleased with a continuing resilient performance, despite tough economic conditions," Smith commented. "Our strong customer relationships, quality and service has led to a number of recent FMCG customer contract wins, underpinning our confidence in the outlook for volume growth going forward.

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"While markets remain challenging, we continue to focus on providing value-added solutions to our customers and on driving operational efficiency and cost control across the Group and view the future with confidence."

Market Performance

The British company said its North America and Eastern Europe markets saw good growth in the third quarter, but was partially offset by a weaker performance in Northern Europe.

Last September, DS Smith said it would reduce prices for its packages on signs that customers are re-stocking inventories, particularly in Southern and Eastern Europe and the U.S., although box volumes remained below year-ago levels.

Read More: Mondi Considering DS Smith Bid To Create €11.7bn UK Paper Giant

Additional reporting by ESM

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