DS Smith to pay interim dividend following strong trading
Packaging business DS Smith said on Tuesday that it had "progressed well" over the last four months, with the group now set to pay an interim dividend after performing in line with expectations despite challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.
DS Smith said like-for-like corrugated box volume performance improved over the period since the initial impact of Covid-19, with a return to positive growth taking place in August.
The FTSE 100-listed group added that its FMCG and e-commerce business had grown through the period, demonstrating a "consistently strong performance" and more than offsetting challenging conditions in a number of industrial categories.
As a result of the strong showing and the improved clarity in its outlook, DS Smith said it now intends to declare an interim dividend for the half-year to 31 October.
DS highlighted that its Northern European operations had continued to perform well, with "pleasing recovery momentum" being seen in Southern and Eastern Europe since May and a particularly encouraging performance in North America.
Chief executive Miles Roberts said: "While the macro-economic outlook remains challenging, we are pleased to see volume growth in August and the reduced OCC costs.
"Our customer focus, strong cost control, cash generation, and liquidity profile, together with continued performance in line with our expectations, gives us confidence for the future."
As of 0850 BST, DS Smith shares were up 5.59% at 288.16p.