DS Smith has confirmed its full year results, for the period to 30 April 2020. Turnover was £6,043m, down 2% on the last year. Profit before tax was £368m, up 5% on the same period last year.
Miles Roberts, Group Chief Executive, commented, “We have made good strategic and financial progress in the year, with the disposal of our Plastics division reinforcing our focus on sustainable fibre-based packaging and our strong commercial focus driving record margin. Of course, the year ended with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and I am extremely proud of our employees and their tremendous support, working with our suppliers and communities to ensure every factory has remained open throughout the pandemic, delivering essential supplies with outstanding levels of service in this extraordinary time.”
He continued, “Our business model is resilient, built on our consistent FMCG and e-commerce customer base. In the short term, however, the impact of Covid-19 on the economies in which we operate is likely to impact volumes to industrial customers and add to operating costs. In particular, infrastructure constraints have driven elevated OCC prices, although we currently expect the impact to be limited to H1. With the current economic uncertainty, we continue to focus on our employees, our customers, our communities and on the efficiency and cash generation of our business and accordingly the Board considers it premature to resume dividend payments at this stage.”
Roberts concluded, “In the medium-term, the growth drivers of e-commerce and sustainability are as strong as ever. The Covid-19 crisis is also expected to accelerate a number of the structural drivers for corrugated packaging and our scale and innovation led customer offering positions us well and gives us confidence for the future.”