Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) has delivered a 'strong performance', ahead of its stated guidance, according to its full-year 2020 financial results.
The paper and packaging giant reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the full year of €1,510 billion, down 9% on 2019 but ahead of expectations.
The company said demand accelerated in the second half, with a particularly strong fourth quarter driven by increased demand across its customer base, in what Tony Smurfit, Group CEO described as "the most challenging year in recent memory."
In November, the company said it successfully completed a share placing to capitalise on structural drivers of growth; to invest in sustainability; and to increase its operating efficiencies.
"SKG is now increasingly well positioned to take advantage of these opportunities, from a position of enhanced financial strength," Smurfit said.
“Our European business delivered a very strong performance with an EBITDA of €1,180 million and EBITDA margin of 17.8%. Demand accelerated in the second half, with a particularly strong fourth quarter driven by increased demand across our customer base," he added.
Smurfit said he is equally pleased with the performance in its Americas region which delivered an EBITDA of €372 million and a record EBITDA margin of 19.7%.
"This performance is as a result of our very strong market positions, our successful acquisitions and the high-return investments made in the region in recent years," he said.
Dividends To Shareholders
SKG said it recognises the importance of dividends to shareholders and it is 'pleased to meet all its dividend commitments during 2020.'
"In addition, we have repaid all specific government support schemes related to the pandemic," Smurfit said.
The company said its final dividend increased by 8% to 87.4 cent per share.
The company noted that its product, paper-based packaging, is renewable, recyclable and biodegradable and plays a fundamental part in addressing its customers’ sustainability challenges.
"In SKG, we produce our products in an ever more sustainable manner and we have, again, reset our targets in this area," Smurfit said.
Looking ahead, Smurfit said, "SKG has positioned itself as the leading company within our industry, with great people, providing our customers with unique packaging solutions centred around innovation, efficiency and sustainability."
"The inherent strength of our business together with the recent capital raise provides us with an unrivalled platform to accelerate our vision and the Group’s next phase of growth and development," he added.
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