Smurfit Kappa posts solid results in pandemic year 2020

Smurfit Kappa posted profit growth in the 2020 financial year
15 Feb 2021 − 

Packaging group Smurfit Kappa was able to improve its profits in the challenging pandemic year of 2020 thanks to demand growth in the second half o the year, but also due to lower one-off costs.

Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) achieved a solid performance in the 2020 business year, thanks in part to a strong fourth quarter. While CEO Tony Smurfit described 2020 as "the most challenging year in recent memory" due to the coronavirus pandemic, and especially tough in the second quarter, rising demand in the second half of the year coupled with cost savings helped the company overcome these challenges.

SKG was able to improve its bottom line compared with 2019 and was satisfied overall with its performance in the reporting year. While operating profit rose only slightly, from €884m in 2019 to €891m in 2020, net profit increased by 13 per cent to €547m.

It should be noted, though, that the company faced significant lower one-off costs in the reporting year. SKG booked exceptional charges of €31m in 2020, as opposed to charges of €178m in the prior-year period. The exceptional items in 2019 included a fine of €124m the company had to pay in Italy relating to anti-competitive practices. Excluding those items, SKG's operating profit for the full year was 13 per cent lower than in 2019 at €922m.

This article is an excerpt from our report on Smurfit Kappa's performance in 2020. Read the article in its entirety in EUWID Pulp and Paper 7/2021 which is published on 17 February.

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