Smurfit Kappa lifts dividend as FY earnings jump
Smurfit Kappa Group (CDI)
Corrugated packaging company Smurfit Kappa reported a rise in full-year profit and revenue on Wednesday and lifted its final dividend, as it said that inflation had moderated in the latter part of the year.
Pre-tax profit in FY22 rose 42% to €1.29bn, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation up 38% at €2.35bn and revenue 27% higher at €12.81bn.
EBIDTA in Europe was ahead 42% at €1.85bn, with higher paper and corrugated prices partly offset by higher energy, recovered fibre and other raw material costs. The company noted a slowdown in its German and UK markets, but said this was partly offset by a more robust performance in countries such as France and Spain.
In the Americas, meanwhile, EBITDA pushed up 25% to €553m.
The final dividend was increased 12% to 107.6 cents per share.
For the full year, box volumes were down less than 2%, the company said, as the rate of inflation had a negative effect on the demand environment. This coincided with the partial reversal of "unsustainably high" demand seen through the pandemic.
Chief executive Tony Smurfit said: "Set against a year of extraordinary circumstances, 2022 was another highly successful year for the Smurfit Kappa Group. Our performance reflects the ongoing benefits of our investment programme together with our customer-led innovation and sustainability initiatives. SKG’s integrated model together with our geographic footprint continue to deliver for all stakeholders.
"The year was characterised by unprecedented cost inflation, especially in energy, which moderated in the latter part of the year. As illustrated by our performance in 2022, SKG has successfully navigated this environment."