Packaging firm DS Smith upbeat despite European environment

DS SMITH, the FTSE 250 company that packages McVities Hobnobs among other popular brands, insisted yesterday that tough economic conditions in Europe are not hindering its performance.

In an interim management statement for the three months to 31 July, the Maidenhead-based firm said the current year is in line with expectations and that the outlook remains positive.

Yet it was hit later in the day when around one seventh of participating shareholders voted against the firm remuneration report. Despite the dissent, however, all resolutions at the AGM were passed.

Delivering the company update yesterday, group chief executive Miles Roberts said: “While the European market backdrop remains challenging, we are on track to make further significant progress this year and are excited about the growth opportunities”.

“Increasing volume growth fully in line with our medium term targets reflects continued innovation driven market share gains,” he added.

The firm said that its €1.6bn (£1.35bn) acquisition of Swedish company SCA Packaging – completed in the summer of 2012 – is delivering synergies that are helping its business outlook remain positive, despite a “short term impact ahead of the pass-through of input cost increases”.

Shares in DS Smith closed down 0.93 per cent at 267.5p.