Global paper packaging firm Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) has reported a decline in full year pre-tax profits of 8% to €294m (£241m).
Meanwhile, the Ireland-based integrated paper and board reprocessor’s revenue increased by 8% to €7.96bn up from €7.34bn the previous year.
For the second year in a row the company warned of the impact of the devaluation of the Venezuelan Bolivar against the US Dollar.
Gary McGann (left), SKG chief executive officer said the drop in pre-tax profits was mainly due to higher finance costs in 2013, as a result of the refinancing activities.
He said containerboard demand improved during the year along with stable supply side conditions. A steady Old Corrugated Containers (OCC) market supported a recovery in testliner prices.
“However, in spite of increasing testliner pricing, margins have still not adequately recovered due to consistently higher input costs. Recent weakness in kraftliner pricing has abated and the strong recycled market should provide upward pricing pressure in the grade.”
McGann said the company’s performance in Europe was weaker but improving year-on-year.
He added: “The Americas has been a strong source of earnings growth in 2013 and continues to provide the Group with geographic diversity and exposure to higher growth markets. “
Other key figures:
- The company raised its dividend by 50% from 20.50c to 30.75c
- Net debt fell 6% to €2.6bn