Wednesday 5 February 2020 12:46 pm

Shares in Smurfit Kappa rise as it returns to profit

Shares in packaging business Smurfit Kappa rose today after it announced it had returned to profit in its full-year results.

Smurfit Kappa was leading the risers on the FTSE 100 this afternoon, with shares up 5.8 per cent at 2,876p.

The Dublin-based company said profit before tax for the year to 31 December was €677m (£571m), compared to a loss of €404m the previous year.

Last year it swung to a loss after its Venezuelan business was seized by President Nicolas Maduro’s regime.

The company has initiated arbitration proceedings to seek compensation from the government of Venezuela.

Read more: Packaging company Smurfit Kappa posts loss after Venezuelan arm seized by Maduro government

Revenue climbed one per cent to €9bn, up from €8.9bn the previous year.

The company said it would increase its final dividend 12 per cent to 80.9 cents per share.

Chief executive Tony Smurfit said: “From a demand perspective, the year has started well and, while macro and economic risks remain, we expect another year of strong free cash flow and consistent progress against our strategic objectives.”

Read more: Smurfit Kappa packs a punch with third quarter update

David O’Brien, equity analyst at Goodbody commented: “This is another very strong set of results for Smurfit Kappa against a backdrop of challenging market conditions. Years of hard work appear to be coming to fruition, with the company showing exceptional cash generation and year on year revenue growth. This solid performance coupled with a confident outlook have led the company to boost its final dividend, which will be well-received by investors.

“Twenty-twenty has also got off to a strong start, including an announced price increase, showing signs that as market conditions improve the company could be in line for another strong year.”