Packaging firm Smurfit Kappa has reported EBITDA of €1.51 billion for full-year 2020, which the company said was ahead of its stated guidance, despite being 9% lower than the previous year.
EBITDA margin for the period was 17.7%, compared to 18.2% in full-year 2019, while revenue was 6% lower, at €9.05 billion.
Commenting on the group's performance, chief executive Tony Smurfit said that the Europe and Americas business "had strong demand in the fourth quarter offsetting significantly higher input costs, predominantly in recovered fibre.
"In what has been the most challenging year in recent memory, I would like to acknowledge the tremendous efforts by all our 46,000 employees, and thank our over 65,000 customers for their continued support."
In the group's Europe business, full-year revenue came in at €6.65 billion (2019: €6.99 billion) with EBITDA of €1.18 billion.
This was led by an acceleration of demand in the second half, Smurfit noted, "with a particularly strong fourth quarter driven by increased demand across our customer base".
In The Americas, meanwhile, revenue stood at €1.89 billion (2019: €2.05 billion), with EBITDA of €372 million.
"This performance is as a result of our very strong market positions, our successful acquisitions and the high-return investments made in the region in recent years," said Smurfit.
Looking ahead, the group said that due to the trends towards e-commerce and sustainability, the outlook for its business is 'increasingly positive'.
"SKG has positioned itself as the leading company within the industry, with great people, providing our customers with unique packaging solutions centred around innovation, efficiency and sustainability," said Smurfit. "The inherent strength of our business, together with the recent capital raise, provides us with an unrivalled platform to accelerate our vision and the group’s next phase of growth and development.
“While there remains some uncertainty on the impact and duration of COVID-19, the year has started well with the continuation of the demand trends seen during the last quarter."
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.