DS Smith PLC on Thursday said revenue and profit declined in the first half of the year, as its chief executive also announced his retirement.
The London-based maker of paper-based packaging reported that pretax profit fell 17% to £268 million, from £321 million a year ago. DS Smith attributed the lower profit to a decrease in average sales prices, lower sales volumes and a £1 million impact from foreign exchange losses.
The firm said revenue declined 18% to £3.51 billion in the first half ended October 31, from £4.30 billion the year prior. It said the lower revenue figure was driven by a decline in average selling prices, as well as a 4.7% fall in box volumes.
DS Smith declared an interim dividend of 6.0 pence per share, unchanged from previously, ‘ in light of the strong business performance, building on the robust position of the second half of the previous year,’ it said.
Looking ahead, the company said it expects its full year results to be in line with expectations.
Chief Executive Miles Roberts said: ‘I am pleased with the performance for the first half of the year. Our focus on value-added packaging solutions to predominantly FMCG customers, together with the benefit from our self-help productivity initiatives and flexible supply chain has driven a robust profit performance. Our Q2 volume performance was improved versus Q1 and we expect this trend to continue with H2 volumes stronger than H1, sequentially and on a like for like basis, as we continue to win market share.
‘While we anticipate markets to remain challenging, we remain focused on our customers and our costs and expect to deliver full year results in line with management expectations.’
Also on Thursday, the firm said CEO Roberts will retire from his position no later that November 30 2025.
The company said the notice period gives it time to find a suitable successor.
Chair Geoff Drabble said: ‘There will be plenty of time to thank Miles properly when he leaves, but he has served the company exceptionally over the last 13 years and has transformed the group into what it is today. He will be much missed by both the board and his colleagues within the wider business.’
DS Smith shares fell 1.3% to 296.60 pence each on Thursday morning in London.
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