Packaging firm Smurfit Kappa has posted a 25% year-on-year increase in EBITDA in the first quarter of its financial year, to €424 million.
The group said that the improved performance was due to higher corrugated pricing, demand growth, a 'relentless' focus on cost efficiencies, and due to benefits from its capital programme. EBITDA margin was 18.3%.
Revenue rose by 7% to €2.3 billion, the group said.
In Europe, Smurfit Kappa's first quarter organic corrugated volume growth stood at 2% year-on-year, against what the company said was a 'strong' 2018 comparison.
The quarter saw the group complete acquisitions in Bulgaria and Serbia.
In the Americas, organic volume growth was up 3% year-on-year, with 'pleasing performances' in the group's three largest markets: Colombia, Mexico and the US.
“The Group has had an excellent start to the year building on our established strengths of customer-focused innovation, our integrated operating model, and our ever expanding geographic reach," commented Tony Smurfit, group chief executive.
“While there is invariably political and economic risk, we confidently expect to deliver another year of progress," he added.
On Smurfit Kappa's corporate social responsibility initiatives, the group said that it was progressing its Better Planet Packaging scheme, working with brand owners, retailers and designers to develop more sustainable packaging solutions.
The group intends to make the Better Planet Packaging scheme the cornerstone of its forthcoming biennial innovation event, the group said.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.