Smurfit Kappa has reported underlying revenue growth of 6% to €2.269 billion after what it called a 'remarkable three month period to the end of March, 2021.
The packaging company posted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of €386 million during the period.
Tony Smurfit, Group CEO, commented, “The first quarter was remarkable in many ways. We had strong corrugated volume growth in practically every area and all markets in which we operate. With unprecedented industry wide shortages of supply and input cost pressures, paper prices have moved up sharply."
"We are recovering these input costs in line with our expectations. Against this backdrop, I am very proud of our team who have continued to deliver in these exceptional times, ensuring the security of supply to our customers while also continuing to support them through our approach to innovation and our sustainable packaging products. Smurfit Kappa has, over the last number of years, through continuous investment and acquisitions, structurally improved the business for the benefit of all stakeholders," he said.
Corrugated volume growth in the first quarter was up approximately 7% in both Europe and the Americas, the company said.
This demonstrates SKG’s exposure to high-growth markets, sectors and channels including innovative and sustainable packaging solutions and e-commerce, it added.
The company noted that containerboard prices have increased in the first quarter and again at the start of the second quarter as a result of strong demand and higher recovered fibre and other costs.
SKG’s recovered fibre cost has increased by approximately €90 million versus the first quarter of last year.
According to Smurfit Kappa the company is 'progressively recovering these input costs through our corrugated box system.'
“Our strong first quarter performance has set the foundation for accelerated revenue and earnings growth as we move through 2021. This performance and these prospects reflect the strength and quality of Smurfit Kappa,” Smurfit added.