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DS Smith plc

DS Smith Plc continues to progress well despite macro-economic uncertainty

DS Smith Plc (LON: SMDS), today issued a trading update in respect of the period since 1 May 2019. DS Smith will hold its Annual General Meeting at 12 noon today.

Trading update

The business continues to progress well despite, as expected, continued macro-economic uncertainty, and our expectations for overall financial performance remain unchanged.

Our excellent customer engagement and differentiators of scale, service, quality and innovation, have enabled strong pricing discipline. This, combined with ongoing operating cost efficiencies and focus on cashflow generation, together with new business wins in Europe and the US, gives us confidence in our resilient business model despite ongoing subdued volumes in some markets, in particular those economies with significant export-led market exposure, including Germany.

Strategic progress

Europac integration and synergy delivery are progressing very well, with excellent customer and employee engagement. We completed the remedy disposals in June and our paper footprint optimisation review continues to progress. Construction of our greenfield packaging plant in Indiana, which will significantly enhance our capability in the US and reduce our long paper position, is fully on track, with production expected to start in this calendar year. We continue to expect completion of the disposal of our Plastics division before the end of this calendar year.

Miles Roberts, DS Smith Plc Group Chief Executive, said:

“The underlying drivers of demand for sustainable corrugated packaging remain strong and our leading offerings for highly resilient FMCG and e-commerce customers give us confidence of volume and market share growth.

While volatility in the macro-economic environment and input costs remains, our focus on pricing discipline, margin progression, enhanced cost and efficiency improvements, and cash generation, support our expectation of further good progress in the year.”