Smurfit Kappa – trading update

Smurfit Kappa has released a trading update for the nine months to 30 September 2023. Turnover reached €8,533m, down 12% on the same period last year. Profit before tax for the period was €939m, down 18% on the same period last year.

For Q3, sales were 2,696m (-19% on Q3 22) and profit before tax of €281m (-25% on Q3 22)

Tony Smurfit, Group CEO, commented, “We are pleased to report EBITDA of €1,625m, an EBITDA margin of 19.0%, a ROCE of 18.0% and a net debt to EBITDA of 1.4x. These results continue to demonstrate the effectiveness of our multi-year capital plans, our geographic footprint and the service and dedication of our people.

“Box demand in the third quarter for the Group was approximately 2% behind 2022 levels versus a negative 7% and 5% in the first and second quarters respectively. We expect this trend to continue, with Germany in particular showing improved order books.

“On 12 September, Smurfit Kappa and WestRock announced an agreement to combine to create Smurfit WestRock, a global leader in sustainable fibre-based packaging. This combination represents a special point in time, value creation opportunity, for both companies. We are increasingly excited to create the ‘Go-To’ fibre-based packaging partner of choice for all stakeholders.”

He concluded, “Our consistent delivery, over many years, demonstrates the quality of our business and the capital allocation decisions we have made. For the full year 2023 we expect to deliver EBITDA of approximately €2,050m.”

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