Issues a pre-close trading update in respect of the year ended 30 April 2018

DS Smith has said it continues to perform in line with expectations, with the industry and business trends consistent with our trading update of 7 March. Volume growth has remained strong with focus on sustainable solutions and the accelerating e-commerce sector. This and continued growth in multi-national customers has resulted in further gains in market share. Recovery of increased paper prices, which have risen throughout the year, has continued as expected and the company expect return on sales to be in line with the prior year. 

The company says that volume growth in the US has been excellent and that they are pleased with the positive reaction from local and global customers. Integration of Interstate is also progressing well and they now expect synergies to reach an annualised rate of $35 million by the end of the third full year of ownership (a further increase of $5 million on initial expectations), driven principally by further anticipated global supply chain benefits. 

The acquisition of Ecopack and Ecopaper completed on 6 March 2018, further building its European network, and the company are pleased with the initial progress made, driven by proven expertise in integration. 

Miles Roberts, Group Chief Executive, said, “We are very pleased with the performance in the year, in particular in the step-up in volumes that we have delivered, and in the successful integration, customer reaction and volume growth within Interstate. Our success is underpinned by our commitment to sustainable packaging that is innovative and adds value to our customers, throughout their global supply chains and also by a focus on our own global supply chain efficiency. This approach, together with momentum in our business and opportunities to further strengthen our customer offering, gives us confidence in the future.”