Cardboard maker DS Smith on Thursday resumed dividend payments and said demand for packaging material had rebounded due to a surge in online shopping amid COVID-19 curbs.
Including e-commerce, the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector accounts for nearly 83% of the British packaging company's box business volumes.
DS Smith declared an interim dividend for of 4 pence per share, months after it said it would not do so due to pandemic-related uncertainties.
'Winning Market Share'
"We have maintained our track record of winning market share through our fibre-based offering focussed on FMCG and e-commerce customers, where the seasonal period has seen solid growth," chief executive officer Miles Roberts said.
DS Smith said it saw an improvement in box volumes, which rose by 5% year-on-year in November.
The company, which supplies packaging products to Amazon, Nestlé and Unilever, said it plans to construct packaging plants in Italy and Poland to meet future demand.
However, profit before tax for the continuing operations fell 54% to £97 million ($129.48 million) for the six months ended 31 October, hurt by lower prices for boxes and weak industrial demand.