DS Smith says it has continued to “build positively on the trends and momentum” reported in March through all parts of the business in the UK, Europe and the US.
The company had then announced it had been trading well, in line with expectations, despite input costs increasing.
It also added in March that box volume growth across the group has accelerated with strong trade in e-commerce and FMCG.
DS Smith is now reporting higher sales volumes, initial price recovery and an enhanced performance from its US business have been better than expected and, whilst input costs have increased materially in the second half, financial performance for the full year ended 30 April 2021 is anticipated to be line with expectations.
After a period of targeted investment in new packaging capacity, Miles Roberts, DS Smith group chief executive, said he was happy to see the resumption of strong growth in its American division.
“I am pleased to report continued positive momentum across the business. Our long-term strategic direction focused on FMCG and consumer markets, embracing e-commerce and technology-based solutions, has been accelerated by consumer trends resulting from the pandemic. Corrugated box volumes have grown progressively throughout the financial year with the second half expected to achieve a volume increase in excess of 7% over the comparative period last year.”
He added that the company’s growth in e-commerce is going well as is the roll out of a new digital platform for ordering.
“We are investing in new box plants in Italy and Poland, and we are expanding capacity in Germany. Demand from our industrial customer base has improved.”
In the US, increased packaging volumes together with associated higher domestic utilisation of its paper production and improved pricing, has resulted in “significantly improved profitability” from this division.