DS Smith Plc (LON:SMDS) today issued a pre-close trading update in respect of the half-year ended 31 October 2018.
The business continues to perform in line with our expectations, with the industry and business trends consistent with our trading update of 4 September 2018. We expect return on sales and adjusted operating profit in the half-year to be materially ahead of the comparable period following recovery of increased input costs earlier in the year and good volume growth from our highly resilient FMCG focussed business. The integration of Interstate Resources continues to go very well, with major customers now procuring from us in both Europe and the US.
We remain highly focussed on cash management and anticipate cash flow from operations to be significantly ahead of the prior period. The previously announced strategic review of our plastics division is progressing well.
The regulatory process for the proposed acquisition of Europac continues to be in line with our expectations, with completion of the acquisition expected by the end of the calendar year. We are excited about the prospects for this business and the opportunity for DS Smith to expand further in the important growth market of Iberia.
Miles Roberts, Group Chief Executive of DS Smith, said:
“We are very pleased with the performance in the half year, in particular the margin development, and the continued excellent progress and integration of Interstate Resources. We continue to see strong customer support to our innovative sustainable packaging, responding to the dynamic requirements of our customers. We expect good ongoing volume and market share growth, look forward to the completion of Europac and view the future with confidence.”