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(SMDS) D S Smith share chat

Discussion in 'General Share Chat' started by Groucho, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Groucho

    Groucho Member

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  2. Groucho

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    Investors Chronicle 21/6/19
     

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  4. Groucho

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    DS Smith Plc - trading and dividend update 8 April 2020


    Trading update

    Trading since our update on 4 March 2020 has remained resilient with relatively limited impact from COVID-19 seen to date, with performance for the financial year anticipated to be in line with our current expectations.

    During these unprecedented times our priorities remain to look after the safety of our staff, our partners and our communities as well as ensuring excellent levels of customer service. In virtually all markets in which we operate, governments have classified us as a critical business involved in the supply of packaging to sectors such food and essential products. All our factories are, and have been operational throughout, albeit with further enhanced safety and hygiene standards.

    In terms of demand, corrugated box volumes have continued to be good and we have seen improvement on the first half on a like for like basis, with our focus on the FMCG customer base, in particular, benefitting us during these uncertain times. On a regional basis, the main impact to date has been in Southern Europe which includes the markets of Italy, France and Spain. The Northern region including Germany, Benelux, UK and Scandinavia has seen less effect whilst Eastern Europe has not seen any meaningful effect to date. Within our North American operations, trading has remained relatively robust, consistent with the overall Group.

    Supplies into the grocery sector have been very busy particularly in ambient food, drinks, hygiene, frozen food and dry packaged grocery categories. E-commerce has also been strong in most categories but increasingly in everyday essential products. These are sectors where we have clear market leading positions with outstanding service and product quality. The industrial sector has however been heavily affected but our more limited exposure has protected us.

    Thanks to the exceptional support and resilience of our employees, our standards of customer service and product quality have remained excellent during this period, although there have been some additional operating costs as a result of COVID-19, particularly in relation to employees, logistics and enhanced health and safety measures as we continue to manage our operations within this challenging environment. However, pricing remains resilient and we therefore expect a return on sales for the current financial year to be similar to the first half.


    Liquidity, financial position and cost reduction measures

    The Group has a highly cash generative business model and our balance sheet and liquidity profile are strong, with c£1.4bn of facilities currently undrawn, and no significant refinancing required until 2023. We currently anticipate our net debt to EBITDA ratio at 30 April 2020 to be around our medium term target of 2.0. Although we will continue to invest in the maintenance and efficiency of our asset base, we are taking a number of steps to ensure the continued financial strength of the business including stopping discretionary expenditure and an enhanced focus on working capital and capital expenditure. The Executive Directors will be waiving their rights to any annual bonus in respect of the current year.


    Outlook and dividend

    Notwithstanding our strong liquidity profile, the resilient trading to date and the actions we are taking, we are conscious that we are operating in an exceptionally uncertain global environment and we will inevitably be impacted by any severe prolonged downturn in global economic activity. Against this backdrop and after due consideration, the Board has decided it is prudent to no longer pay the interim dividend due for payment on 1 May 2020, which would otherwise become ex-dividend on 9 April. The Board recognises the high degree of importance of dividends to shareholders and, as such, it will consider the appropriateness, quantum and timing of overall dividend payment relating to the financial year ending 30 April 2020 at the time of announcement of the results in July when it expects to have a clearer view of the effects of COVID-19 on the Company's business, together with additional measures focused on cost mitigation and cash generation.


    Miles Roberts, Group Chief Executive, said:

    "Trading within the business has been resilient, reflecting our focus on FMCG and e-commerce customers and I am indebted to the ongoing tremendous support received from all our employees especially during this challenging time. We continue to work with our customers and suppliers to ensure delivery of essential supplies and are encouraged by the performance of the business, despite the very challenging environment, but are taking a prudent approach to cost and capital allocation until there is greater certainty in the macro-economic outlook."


    Forthcoming Date

    Subject to finalisation with our auditors following recent FRC guidance we expect to announce our results for the year ending 30 April 2020 on 2 July 2020.
     
  5. Groucho

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    Presentation and dial-in details

    There will be a webcast audio presentation at 9:00am with the slides of the half year results, followed by a live Q&A.

    To access the webcast, please register here. A copy of the slides presented will also be available on the Group's website, https://www.dssmith.com/investors/results-and-presentations shortly before the start of the presentation.

    If you would like to ask a question at the end of the webcast, then you will need to dial into the associated conference call using the following details. Please dial in 15 minutes before the start of the webcast to allow for registration.

    Standard International Access: +44 (0) 20 3003 2666
    UK Toll Free: 0808 109 0700
    Password: DS Smith

    The webcast will remain available for replay, accessed via our website per the link above, and a replay is available for 7 days on +44 (0) 20 8196 1998, pin 5838908.
     
  7. Groucho

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    3 March 2021

    DS Smith Plc - Q3 trading statement

    Leaders in the Circular Economy


    DS Smith Plc ("DS Smith"), today issues a trading update in respect of the period since 1 November 2020.


    Trading update

    Trading continues to progress well, with the trends and momentum described in our H1 results on 10 December 2020 continuing into H2. We are seeing particularly strong box volume performance driven by our differentiated offering, and whilst input costs have increased, overall trading continues in line with our expectations.

    Group like-for-like corrugated box volume growth has accelerated compared to Q2 of our financial year, with the expected e-commerce and FMCG strength over the Christmas period continuing into 2021, together with some encouraging signs of recovery from our industrial customers. Our Northern European and North American regions have seen the most positive performance, reflecting continued strong growth with our largest customers and increasing utilisation of our plant in Indiana.

    Our North American business continues to deliver significantly improving results as a consequence of good domestic volume growth, with corresponding reduced exports of paper, and increasing pricing.

    The volume growth reflects our strong performance across many sectors and customer groups. We are providing our customers with more ways and easier options to do business with us via our leading digital platforms that are proving to be very popular. These platforms are fully aligned with our unique Circular Design principles, to enhance recyclability and reusability of our products.

    Input costs, including OCC, have increased during the period which, together with high demand, continues to drive higher paper prices. We have started to recover these additional costs through higher packaging prices and our expectation is, with the customary lag, they will be fully recovered and underpin continued momentum into FY22.

    Working capital and cash generation remain keys areas of focus and we anticipate a continued strong free cashflow performance for the full year with cash conversion over 100 per cent.


    Sustainability update

    We are a leader in sustainability and operate a circular business where we collect and recycle more packaging than we produce. We are focused purely on fibre-based products and that is why our recycling rates are 99% companywide. We build in recyclability, reuse and plastic replacement into our packaging through our Circular Design principles, at the heart of our 'Now and Next' Sustainability strategy, launched in the autumn 2020.

    Since the start of the calendar year, we are delighted that our rating within the MSCI ACWI Index has increased from A to AA and our ISS ESG rating had increased, retaining our Prime status. As one of only 16 strategic partners of the Ellen MacArthur foundation, we have piloted and scored A- in its Circulytics index designed to ensure greater recyclability within packaging.


    Miles Roberts, Group Chief Executive, said:

    "The Group has delivered a robust performance during the period against a challenging macro-economic environment, and I remain immensely grateful and proud of our colleagues for their commitment to keeping our plants safe and operational and continued support from our customers.

    We are seeing excellent demand from FMCG and e-commerce customers for our sustainable packaging products and solutions and we continue to invest for growth in these areas. COVID-19 is accelerating a number of the structural growth drivers and with our leading position in recycling and fibre-based packaging we are well positioned to capitalise and drive further market share gains.

    While the economic environment remains uncertain due to Covid-19, we are experiencing good momentum across the business in both Europe and North America. We are confident in delivering results in line with our expectations for the year and showing further good progress and momentum as we move into the next financial year."


    Conference Call

    A conference call for analysts and investors, hosted by Miles Roberts, will take place today, 3 March 2021 at 8.00am London time. The dial-in number is:
    UK/International +44 (0) 33 0551 0200
    UK Toll Free 0808 109 0700
    Password DS Smith

    A play-back facility of this call will be available until 10 March 2021. The dial-in number is: +44 (0)20 8196 1480, access pin 0775645#. A recording and transcript of the call will also be available through the Investor Relations section of our website: https://www.dssmith.com/investors/results-and-presentations
     

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