Trading in line with management expectations

DS Smith hails resilient performance

Roberts: “We have started the financial year very strongly"
Roberts: views the future with confidence

DS Smith has reported a ‘continued resilient performance’ in a challenging environment, in a trading update for its Q3 period.

The statement, released today (6 March) in respect of the period since 1 November 2023, said its like-for-like corrugated box volume performance continued to improve compared with the first half of its financial year, with flat like-for-like volumes in the period since 1 November.

North America and Eastern Europe saw good growth in the quarter, offset by a weaker performance in Northern Europe.

The company said its focus remained on resilient pricing, operational efficiency, and tight cost control with anticipated containerboard price increases expected to be reflected in ongoing packaging prices, following the usual lag.

Group chief executive Miles Roberts said: “I am pleased with a continuing resilient performance, despite tough economic conditions.

“Our strong customer relationships, quality and service has led to a number of recent FMCG customer contract wins, underpinning our confidence in the outlook for volume growth going forward.

“While markets remain challenging, we continue to focus on providing value-added solutions to our customers and on driving operational efficiency and cost control across the group and view the future with confidence.”

Overall trading, together with the company’s outlook for the remainder of the year, remains in line with management expectations.

It was reported in the last few days that DS Smith is set to close its site in Louth, Lincolnshire, with 70 jobs understood to be affected.

Last week, the London-headquartered packaging giant also unveiled a £48m investment in a new fibre preparation line (F-line) at its Kemsley paper mill.