Irish-based international packaging giant Smurfit Kappa recorded revenue growth of 7% year-on-year in the first three months of 2019.
In the three-month period ending 31 March, Smurfit Kappa achieved revenues of €2.3 billion.
Its strong first quarter performance continued as its EBITDA was also up 25% year-on-year, to €424 million.
The company said that the improved result reflects higher corrugated pricing, demand growth, a relentless focus on cost efficiencies and the benefits of our capital programme.
“The Group has had an excellent start to the year building on our established strengths of customer-focused innovation, our integrated operating model, and our ever-expanding geographic reach,” Tony Smurfit, CEO of Smurfit Kappa, said.
“While there is invariably political and economic risk, we confidently expect to deliver another year of progress,” he added.
In Europe, Smurfit Kappa’s first quarter organic corrugated volume growth was up 2% year-on-year, against a strong 2018 comparison.
During the quarter, the group completed acquisitions in Bulgaria and Serbia, further expanding its geographic reach in Europe.
In the Americas, organic volume growth was up 3% year-on-year with ‘especially pleasing performances’ in the group’s three largest countries; Colombia, Mexico, and the US.
Better Planet Packaging
The group said that it will continue to progress its Better Planet Packaging initiative by working with brand owners, retailers, and designers to develop sustainable, biodegradable, and innovative packaging solutions.
In the first quarter alone, Smurfit Kappa launched a competition to challenge people to develop an alternative for the plastic stretch wrap which is used around pallets to provide stability during transport and storage.
Participants were also asked to develop a fully paper-based parcel with thermal protection for chocolates, to use in the eCommerce sales channel.
In late March, the group then produced its Nor-Grip solution, an innovative corrugated solution that securely bundles products, such as large bottles - eliminating the need for shrink film.
Very recently, Smurfit Kappa also announced that it has joined forces with the Plastic Soup Foundation, the Dutch organisation which campaigns against ocean plastic.
The two groups united to stress the growing need for sustainable packaging. The packaging giant said that ‘a strong synergy exists’ between its Better Planet Packaging initiative and the Plastic Soup Foundation’s mission to stop marine plastic waste.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.