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DS Smith plans US expansion after 19% revenue increase

DS Smith plans US expansion after 19% revenue increase

WARSAW: POLAND Cardboard box maker DS Smith said it plans to expand further into the US and open two new factories there, as it reported an almost one-fifth rise in sales during the six months to October.

Chief executive Miles Roberts hinted there might be more deals to come in the US, saying he wanted “to build a big position there”.

“We very much hope to expand and grow in the States. Whether that’s double, treble the size, I don’t know at the moment,” he said.

His comments came after DS Smith, which is also Europe’s largest paper recycling company, reported a 19 per cent increase in revenue to £2.8bn during the six months to 31 October.

While some of that came from currency fluctuations and acquisitions, its corrugated box volumes rose by 5.2 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

Adjusted operating profit rose by 11 per cent to £251m, of which about half was because of exchange rate movements. However, one-off costs related to acquisitions and restructuring caused reported pre-tax profit to fall slightly to £144m.

“Corrugated box volumes were strong  but margins declined due to expected pressure from higher paper prices,” wrote analysts at UBS. Thanks to its growth, DS Smith will be promoted to the FTSE 100 later this month.The company’s buying spree is part of an industry trend for packaging companies using varied materials  from plastic to cardboard and glass  to seek economies of scale to better serve multinational customers, which require similar products across the countries they operate in.DS Smith also said it was planning new manufacturing sites in Poland and Spain.