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Brexit puts DS Smith investment in doubt

The chief executive of DS Smith has said his group is holding off on UK investment until there is “more certainty” over Brexit.

In an exclusive interview with our sister title Packaging News, Miles Roberts warned that uncertainty surrounding the final deal between the UK and the EU had led to customers delaying decisions.

“We too are holding out on investment in the UK until there is more certainty – and have been for the past 18 months,” he said.

“We want proper access to the world’s largest trading partner – the EU – and a deal as close as it is currently. We have to wait to see what access we get to the EU – investment in the UK will be difficult if it is a bad deal.

“We want to be part of a customs union. We have a huge market on our doorstep – if we are left out of that it will hold back our UK business. We hold a 12% share in the UK currently, let’s make sure it does not get any smaller.”

He said that public concern about single-use plastics had been a significant development.

“More customers are requesting a move away from single-use, non-returnable plastic. Customers and consumers are increasingly switching to fibre – it is a real growth.

”With more frequent shops and smaller quantities, there is a demand for smaller packs.”

Roberts also said that demand was booming and the business was taking more share across Europe.


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