IRELAND – Irish corrugated company, Smurfit Kappa has reported a decline in revenues and profits in the first three months of the year but pointed to an improvement in demand for boxes.

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 In Q1 FY24, the company reported earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of €487 million (US$525.30m), down from €579 million (US$624.54m) reported last year.

In a trading update, the group also reported an EBITDA margin of 18 percent for the period.

Smurfit Kappa generated revenues of €2.7 billion (US$2.91bn) in the three months to the end of March, down from the €2.995 billion (US$3.23bn) reported in the corresponding period in 2023.

According to Kappa, these positive results have been attributed to the continued growth in corrugated box volume, which was in line with expectations. 

The company saw box demand improve, with volume growth in Europe and the Americas region of approximately 3% and 2%, respectively.

Kappa CEO Tony Smurfit said, “The group recently announced the closure of a triple tranche bond offering, comprising US$750 million notes due 2030, US$1 billion notes due 2034, and US$1 billion notes due 2054 at coupons of 5.200%, 5.438%, and 5.777%, respectively.”

Amcor’s net sales drop 8% in March 2024 YTD

Meanwhile, Packaging company Amcor has reported its net sales for the year-to-date (YTD) dropped by 8% to US$10.10 billion on a comparable constant currency basis, compared with US$11.02 billion in the same period of financial year 2023 (FY23).

During the nine-month period ending 31 March 2024, net income attributable to the company also saw a significant drop, coming in at US$473 million, from US$868 million in the prior year period.

The company’s gross profit for the period was US$1.95 billion, a slight decrease from US$2.00 billion a year earlier in the same period.

Its operating income also declined to US$819 million in March 2024 YTD, from US$1.18 billion in the year-ago period.

On a comparable constant currency basis, its adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) were down 3%, primarily due to lower volumes, although this was partly offset by strong cost performance.

In the third quarter (Q3) of FY24, net sales of Amcor were US$3.41 billion, lower than the previous year’s figure of US$3.66 billion.

The company’s third-quarter net income attributable to Amcor was US$189 million, up from US$177 million in Q3 FY23.

Its diluted earnings per share for Q3 FY24 was US$0.129, up from US$0.119 while adjusted EBIT for the quarter was US$397 million, 3% higher on a comparable constant currency basis than the previous year’s quarter.

Amcor updated its FY24 outlook by raising adjusted EPS to 68.5-71¢ per share.

Amcor interim CEO Peter Konieczny said: “Amcor delivered improved financial results above our guidance for the third quarter driven by outperformance in the underlying business and our third consecutive quarter of improved earnings leverage. 

“We remain confident in our capital allocation framework and strategy for long-term growth. We believe our underlying business and market positions are strong and we will continue to invest for organic growth, pursue acquisitions or repurchase shares and return cash to shareholders through a compelling and growing dividend.”

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