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Smurfit Kappa FY earnings drop but volumes return to growth in Q4

(Sharecast News) - Smurfit Kappa posted a drop in full-year earnings and revenue on Wednesday amid a "difficult" demand environment, but said that volumes returned to growth in the fourth quarter. In the year to the end of December 2023, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell 12% to €2.08bn with revenues also down 12%, at €11.27bn.

The company - which announced last year that it had agreed to merge with WestRock to form one of the largest packaging groups in the world - said basic earnings per share declined to 293.5 cents from 365.3 cents.

Chief executive Tony Smurfit said: "The demand environment for the industry in 2023 was difficult primarily due to destocking and a lack of economic activity in certain sectors, particularly durable goods.

"However, one trend in which we have seen strong acceleration, is an increasing demand for sustainable packaging solutions," said chief executive Tony Smurfit.

"While full year volumes for the group were down 3.5%, we saw a progressive improvement in demand during the year, with a return to growth in the fourth quarter."

Shares in the corrugated packaging company were up 4.8% at 3,008p at 1140 GMT.

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