Packaging giant Smurfit Kappa has posted revenue of €2.2 billion in the first quarter of its financial year ended 31 March 2020, according to a trading update issued by the company.
EBITDA for the period amounted to €380 million, with a group posting an operating margin of 17.3%.
The company’s European division saw volumes up by 3%, while demand in the Americas grew by 3.5% year-on-year.
At the end of the first quarter, the group had liquidity of over €1.5 billion, average debt maturities of over five years, and no bond maturity until 2024, all supported by the group’s strong operational free cash flow, the company said.
'An Integral Part Of Vital Supply Chains'
Tony Smurfit, Group CEO, commented, “During the quarter, all of our facilities were operational as a result of our employees’ dedication and commitment. The scale and geographic reach of our operations have also ensured that our extensive and diverse customer base has been able to deliver its essential and critical supplies.
“We are an integral part of today’s vital supply-chains, whether it is ensuring that retailers remain supplied with food and other basic goods, or ensuring that critical pharmaceutical and medical supplies and devices reach hospitals and other health care facilities where they are needed to fight this pandemic.”
The company emphasised that the wellbeing of its employees is its priority and it has implemented several measures to prevent the virus from spreading.
It has also launched a range of products to help address challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Smurfit said, “During these uncertain times, we have a heightened focus on cost reduction while maintaining our market-leading innovation and sustainability offering.
"While the full extent and effects of the macro and economic risks brought on by COVID-19 are unclear, SKG remains very well positioned both financially and operationally.”
The board of Smurfit Kappa has decided to withdraw its previously proposed final dividend of 80.9 cents per share in light of the uncertainty around the impact of the pandemic.
However, the company added that it is committed to providing shareholders an attractive and progressive dividend stream, which will be determined later in the year.