DS Smith on Thursday raised its interim dividend by 25% and forecast a stronger-than-expected annual performance, after the British cardboard maker posted an increase in its first-half profit due to higher box prices and tight cost controls.
The packaging giant, which supplies packaging to clients including the likes of Amazon and Unilever, reported a 51% jump in adjusted operating profit from continuing operations at £418 million ($509.8 million) for the six months ended 31 October.
The profit surge comes despite box volumes declining 3% in the first-half, hit by a weaker-than-expected industrial sector and economic challenges — particularly in the UK and Germany, the company said.
"The macro-economic outlook for the rest of the financial year remains challenging," Miles Roberts, chief executive officer said in a statement.
The company, which provides packaging, paper and recycling services, had expected half-year adjusted operating profit of at least £400 million. It had earned £276 million a year earlier.