Smurfit Kappa improves FY pretax profit by 9%

Smurfit Kappa has posted a FY pretax profit of €654m, up 9% from €599m. It recommended a 20% hike in final dividend to 57.6 euro cents a share.

"These strong results against most performance metrics were delivered despite the significant headwinds experienced by the Group in higher raw material input costs and adverse currency impacts," said CEO Tony Smurfit.

"This once again highlights the strength of the Group's integrated business model, our geographically diverse portfolio of businesses and our performance based culture," he said in a statement.

EBITDA of €1.24bn and an EBITDA margin of 15.1% were driven by solid volume growth across Smurfit's markets, along with resilient box pricing and the group's investment in high-return capital projects.

LOOKING AHEAD

Smurfit said that from a demand perspective, the year had started well across most areas of its business and, while recently announced paper price increases should translate with the customary time lag into higher box prices, it looked forward to 2017 and beyond.

"Reflecting the distinct strengths and capabilities of our business, the Board is recommending a 20% increase in the final dividend to 57.6 cent per share."

At 9:26am:

(LON:SKG) Smurfit Kappa Group PLC share price was +31.5p at 2175.5p