Packaging firm Verallia has reported a 1.9% increase in reported revenue in the first quarter of its financial year, to €645 million.
The glassmaker saw adjusted EBITDA rise 6.5% (+9.6% at constant exchange rates) in the quarter, which it said was marked by a slowdown in March.
The group posted organic growth for the period of 4.0%, noting that organic growth at the end of February amounted to +5.9%, while it decreased to +0.4% in March, due to the initial impact of the COVID-19 epidemic.
The group said that close to two thirds of its consolidated sales are exposed to the off-trade channel, with one-third devoted to the on-trade channel, with some parts of the business likely to be impacted more by the coronavirus than others.
In its Southern and Western Europe division, it said demand levels 'remained dynamic', with Italy and Iberia posting positive growth over the quarter, and France affected by national strikes relating to pension reform.
Its Northern and Eastern Europe division, meanwhile, saw positive organic growth for Germany, Ukraine and Russia, while in Latin America, all countries reported positive growth for the quarter.
Looking ahead to the remainder of the year, the group said that its financial guidance for 2020 is no longer valid, due to the uncertainty resulting from the COVID-19 crisis.
It expects the coronavirus to have a 'significant impact' on its business in the second quarter of the year, and is implementing measures to variabilise costs, manage its cash flow and supply chain meticulously and proactively manage all investments.
“Verallia reports good results for the first quarter of 2020 with an increase in sales and an improvement in profitability, despite the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on March sales," said Michel Giannuzzi, chairman and CEO Verallia.
"Even though it is now inevitable that this crisis will have a significant impact on the results for the next quarter and the year 2020, our financial strength and our resilient profile will enable us to address the situation with equanimity.”
© 2020 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.