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Smurfit Kappa halts shareholder payouts

Payments to Smurfit Kappa Group shareholders have been suspended for 2009 following a reported financial loss in the fourth quarter of 2008. Results from the Group, which makes and recycles paper-based packaging, showed a net debt of €3.4 billion (£3.1bn).But Group chief executive Gary McGann said: Against an increasingly difficult market backdrop, the Group is pleased to deliver a relatively strong financial outcome for 2008 in line with market expectations.