The global forest, paper and packaging industry suffered an $8 billion (£4.89bn) drop in net income in 2008, according to a survey carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
PwCs Industry Survey places SCA Packaging as the top European firm in the industry with a 2008 net income of $857 million. Irish firm Smurfit Kappa came fourth with a net income loss of $73m and the Mondi Group came sixth, losing $310m.
DS Smith which has recently reported an 85 per cent pre-tax loss came ninth, although data was based on its 2007/08 financial results.
The report blamed the financial drops on cuts in production and capacity nearly across the board. It said: The main producers have sought to retain discipline on the supply side with aggressive curtailments or closures of capacity, with indications that they will remain on this strategy in 2009. While these actions are aimed at retaining the industry on a more stable footing, once demand recovers, they are a drag on operating profits.
However, for those working with wood products it said 2008 industry suffered because falling construction demand led to a fall in prices.
An uncertain future is predicted for the European industry with continued weakness in 2009, and a possible but quiet recovery in 2010.