Strong growth in profits, returns and dividends, despite FX headwinds
Organic corrugated box volume growth of +3.1%
o Acceleration in H2
o Market share gains
Strengthened the quality of the business portfolio and continued value creation from acquisitions
o Four acquisitions announced in the year, including Andopack in Spain and Duropack in south eastern Europe
o Announcing today the proposed acquisition of Grupo Lantero's corrugated business for €190 million, substantially expanding our position in Iberia
Continued delivery against all our medium-term targets
o Significant improvement in return on sales and ROACE
o Strong cashflow and working capital performance
o Net debt reduced to £651 million, 1.49x EBITDA
Miles Roberts, Group Chief Executive, commented:
"This has been another good year for DS Smith. In a fast changing retail and consumer environment, packaging is more relevant than ever. The progress in the business with customers is evidenced by accelerating volume growth, together with increased margins and returns, from our unique and enhanced offering.
We also have momentum behind developing our business portfolio to improve the quality of our business, and we are pleased to announce the proposed acquisition of Grupo Lantero's corrugated business today. We have been delighted with the positive customer reaction to our recent acquisitions. The progress we continue to make with global customers, together with the opportunities we see for growth as we expand our international reach and offering, gives us confidence to increase our medium-term margin target by 100 basis points, and, notwithstanding the continued challenging market environment, we remain excited about the prospects for the business."
The proposed final dividend is 7.7 pence (2013/14: 6.8 pence), giving a total dividend for the year of 11.4 pence (2013/14: 10.0 pence). Dividend cover before amortisation and exceptional items was 2.1 times in 2014/15 (2013/14: 2.1 times). The final dividend will be paid on 2 November 2015 to shareholders on the register at the close of business on 2 October 2015.