DS Smith PLC (LON:SMDS) said its overall trading is in line with the packaging group’s expectations with return on sales expected to increase in the second half compared to first the half and for the full-year to be in line with the prior year.
In a trading update in respect of the period since 1 November 2017, the FTSE 100-listed firm said box volume growth has remained strong, continuing the positive trend seen in the first half of the year, reflecting on-going good progress with its multi-national and e-commerce customers.
The group added; “Growth was delivered across all our geographies, with our expertise in e-commerce, combined with a strong Christmas trading period for online retail sales, contributing to our continued market share gains.”
The company said the integration of its North America business is going very well and the business continues to perform ahead of initial expectations, with packaging volume growth significantly ahead of the group average rate and improved paper productivity.
DS Smith said the good progress in its business reflects the “increasing relevance of sustainable packaging” and the recovery of recent increases in paper prices, which is progressing well.
Market share gains
Miles Roberts, DS Smith’s group chief executive, said: “We continue to gain market share by delivering packaging that adds value for our customers, as they look to improve the efficiency of their own operations.
“The excellent reaction from US customers reflects the differentiated offer we bring, including our expertise in retail ready packaging and e-commerce.
At the same time, the benefit of a global supply platform for paper and fibre is being seen in the improved operational efficiency of our US assets and greater co-ordination across the Group.”
He concluded: “Our outlook therefore is positive and we remain confident in the future."
DS Smith also announced the completion of its acquisition of Ecopack and Ecopaper, a leading integrated packaging and paper group in Romania, on 6 March 2018.
The group said the acquisition, which has an enterprise value of around €208mln, is expected to be earnings enhancing immediately.