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Newsgrafik #119291

Smurfit Kappa Fourth Quarter and Full Year Results 2017  (Company news)

Smurfit Kappa Group announced results for the 3 months and 12 months ending 31 December 2017.

Fourth Quarter and Full Year Key Points
-Group revenue growth of 7% for the fourth quarter and 5% for the full year
-Fourth quarter EBITDA up 10% year-on-year with reported full year EBITDA of €1,240 million
-Full year ROCE at 15.0% in line with Group target
-Solid free cash flow generation of €307 million for the year
-Net debt to EBITDA of 2.3x
-Final dividend increase of 12% to 64.5 cent per share

Performance Review and Outlook
Tony Smurfit (photo), Group CEO, commented:
“I am pleased to report EBITDA for the fourth quarter of €351 million, an increase of 10% year-on-year. Our EBITDA margin for the quarter at 15.9% also improved both year-on-year and on a sequential basis. Our full-year EBITDA was €1,240 million, a record for the Group, with an EBITDA margin of 14.5%.

“Our full year result was delivered against a backdrop of an increase in excess of €120 million in recovered fibre costs, generally higher raw material costs and adverse currency movements.This improved result for the year, and more importantly for the fourth quarter, reflects the benefits of our continued focus on offering our customers cost effective and innovative solutions, our capital expenditure program, input cost recovery through paper and box price increases and generally strong markets. We also continue to benefit from the Group’s geographic reach and integrated model, which support our customers by ensuring security of supply in very tight markets.

“Our European business showed very strong progression for the quarter, growing its margin to 16.5%. This strong performance came as a result of high levels of demand across most product lines and input cost recovery. Security of supply for our customers is key for us and we have been investing accordingly.

“In the Americas, reported EBITDA of €311 million and a 14.4% margin came in below our expectations. The result was impacted by a number of factors including increased recovered fibre costs, adverse weather events in the latter half of the year, the continued rise in containerboard prices where we are a significant net buyer of approximately 300,000 tonnes and adverse currency moves. During the fourth quarter, some countries experienced an unexpected slowdown which now shows signs of reversing. The region has been progressing its input cost recovery through 2017 and this will continue into 2018.

“Our two most recent acquisitions in Russia and Greece are integrating well. The Group remains ready to further expand our geographic footprint through acquisition where we can deliver long-term value creation.

“Our net debt to EBITDA ratio at 2.26x is at the lower end of our stated range.

“As we start 2018, the benefits of paper-based packaging are being increasingly recognised as the most sustainable, biodegradable solution for both our customers and their end customers. SKG continues to invest and develop these innovative and sustainable packaging applications which will further broaden our product portfolio. These investments will continue to ensure security of supply for our customers and help them address growing trends such as e-commerce and increasing supply chain complexity.

“SKG is a leader in the area of corporate social responsibility, which has been recognised by a number of third party organisations, and we are committed to supporting the communities in which we operate.

“While we continue to experience currency volatility, wage inflation as well as higher energy and other input costs, 2018 has seen the continuation of good demand in Europe, further input cost recovery and signs of improvement in our Americas business. The Group has exciting plans in place to continue our development and sustain our industry leadership into the future”.
(Smurfit Kappa Group Headquarters plc)

Newsgrafik #119318

RISI Announces The 2018 European CEO of The Year Award  (Company news)

Miles Roberts of DS Smith selected as this year’s winner

RISI, the leading information provider for the global forest products industry, announced that Miles Roberts, Group Chief Executive of DS Smith, has been named RISI’s 2018 European CEO of the Year. RISI will present this award at the European Conference, which will take place in Barcelona, Spain on March 5-7, 2018.

RISI’s European CEO of the Year Award is nominated by a group of investment analysts, industry consultants and commentators covering the European and global pulp and paper industry.

Reasons cited by nominators of Roberts to win the award were: “Miles Roberts has been able to navigate the volatile OCC and containerboard situation without missing a beat, in terms of growing earnings and cash flows. Despite the full price paid, it seems as if the Interstate Resources deal is going well. Since this transaction was announced last June, earnings and cash flow estimates for DS Smith have increased, and the company’s share price has rallied more than 15% to £5.11 at the 19th January close from £4.40 at the time of the Interstate deal announcement. By gaining exposure to kraftliner, DS Smith mitigates its substantial net short position at a time when global supplies of kraftliner are tightening. Furthermore, DS Smith continues to capture margin by providing creative service/product enhancements to its myriad customers”.

Another said: “DSS just announced their second HP T1100 Digital Press (Europe) so they really have embraced this technology. As far as the US is concerned, I visited two DSS plants recently. Both plants are planning some upgrades. DSS announced two green field plants on the East Coast…If they keep moving at this pace they will drag the US into the 21st century in terms of box construction.”

Miles Roberts was appointed Group Chief Executive of DS Smith on 4 May 2010. At DS Smith, he has implemented a clear strategy to become a leading provider of corrugated packaging in Europe.

Under his leadership, the Company has grown organically and via a number of acquisitions, including SCA Packaging, Duropack, Grupo Lantero and Interstate Resources. It is now present in 37 countries, employing around 27,000 people, and was elevated into the FTSE 100 in December 2017.

He was previously Chief Executive of McBride plc from July 2005 until April 2010, having originally joined as its Group Finance Director in January 2002. Prior to that, Miles was Finance Director of Costain. He is a non-executive director of Aggreko Plc.

Born in Tynemouth on the 14th of February 1964, Miles attended Stanley Technical High in South Norwood before graduating from Bristol with a degree in Civil Engineering. He began his career as an engineer for Ove Arup.

Miles is married with four children. He enjoys tennis, sailing, skiing and golf.

Newsgrafik #119320

Progroup weiterhin auf Wachstumskurs: Bau einer weiteren Papierfabrik und bis zu vier ...  (Firmennews)

... Wellpappformatwerke bis 2021 geplant

Progroup ist weiterhin auf Wachstumskurs und kann auf ein erfolgreiches Jubiläumsjahr zurückblicken. Der Umsatz stieg in 2017 um 9,69 % auf ca. 804 Millionen Euro. Basis des Erfolgs ist die konsequente Umsetzung seiner Strategie Two Twentyfive. Nachdem der am schnellsten organisch wachsende Wellpapphersteller Europas erst im Oktober vergangenen Jahres mit dem Bau eines neuen Mega-Wellpappformatwerks in Ellesmere Port (Großbritannien) begonnen hat und bereits diesen Monat die Produktion in seinem neuesten Wellpappformatwerk in Drizzona (Italien) aufnimmt, gibt Progroup weitere Expansionspläne bekannt. Mit der Errichtung von bis zu vier weiteren Wellpappformatwerken zwischen 2019 und 2021 in Zentraleuropa sowie dem Start der aktiven Vorbereitungsphase zum Bau einer weiteren Papierfabrik für Wellpappenrohpapiere in Deutschland, deren Produktionsanlauf für 2021 vorgesehen ist, geht Progroup in die intensive Phase seiner Expansionsstrategie Two Twentyfive.

Progroup weiterhin auf Wachstumskurs
Progroup konnte im Jubiläumsjahr „25 Jahre Progroup“ wiederum ein erfolgreiches Jahr verbuchen und belegt dies mit guten Zahlen: Der Umsatz stieg in 2017 um 9,69 % auf ca. 804 Millionen Euro nach 733 Millionen Euro in 2016. Dabei konnte erstmals innerhalb eines Geschäftsjahres die Produktionsmenge von einer Million Tonnen Wellpappformate übertroffen werden. Treiber für diese anhaltend positive Entwicklung waren ein gutes konjunkturelles Umfeld, die neuen Wellpappformatwerke in Plößberg und Trzcinica, aber auch die Performance aller Werke, die gute Vertriebsleistung und nicht zuletzt die exzellente Mitarbeit aller Beschäftigten.

Vier weitere Wellpappformatwerke zwischen 2019 und 2021
Progroup führt seine Strategie Two Twentyfive konsequent fort. Nachdem das Unternehmen Anfang 2017 den Bau von zwei Wellpappformatwerken in Italien und Großbritannien verkündet hat, wird das neue Wellpappformatwerk in Drizzona (Italien) bereits in diesem Monat mit der Produktion beginnen und das leistungsstärkste Mega-Wellpappformatwerk in Ellesmere Port (Großbritannien) planmäßig zum Ende des dritten Quartals 2018 anlaufen. Die Produktionskapazität für Wellpappformate wird damit bis Ende 2018 ca. 3.000 Mio. m²/Jahr erreichen. Um einerseits auch langfristig die Kostenführerschaft und Position als einer der führenden Wellpapphersteller Europas zu erhalten und zu festigen und andererseits sicherzustellen, dass das Unternehmen auch weiterhin mit dem erwarteten Marktwachstum und den Anforderungen seiner Kunden in Bezug auf Liefersicherheit und Produktqualität Schritt halten kann, plant Progroup zwischen 2019 und 2021 die Eröffnung von bis zu vier weiteren Wellpappformatwerken in Zentraleuropa. Hierdurch erhöht sich die Gesamtproduktionskapazität auf ca. 4.200 Mio. m²/Jahr.

State-of-the-art-Papiermaschine für Wellpappenrohpapier
Der steigende Bedarf an konsistent hoch-qualitativem Wellpappenrohpapier, aufgrund der wachsenden Produktionskapazität für Wellpappformate bei Prowell, soll überwiegend durch eine kosteneffiziente und hochflexible Eigenproduktion gedeckt werden. Progroup hat daher aktiv mit den Vorbereitungen zum Bau einer weiteren Papierfabrik mit Standort in Deutschland begonnen. Gemäß aktuellen Überlegungen ist der Produktionsstart der neuen, State-of-the-art-Papiermaschine für 2021 vorgesehen und wird nach einer Anlaufphase eine Produktionskapazität von weiteren ca. 750.000 Tonnen Wellpappenrohpapier bereitstellen. Zusammen mit den beiden bereits in Deutschland produzierenden Papierfabriken PM1 in Burg und PM2 in Eisenhüttenstadt erhöht sich dann die jährliche Gesamtproduktionskapazität an Wellpappenrohpapieren von 1.100.000 Tonnen auf ca. 1.850.000 Tonnen.
(Progroup AG)