Paper and packaging giant Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) is eyeing acquisition opportunities in the Americas as it looks to grow further in the region.
The Dublin-headquartered group last month strengthened its European containerboard division by completing its €460m takeover of Dutch paper and recycling business Reparenco, having itself recently staved off a near-€9bn takeover approach from US group International Paper.
On the back of a strong set of first-half figures — including an 8% year-on-year increase, to €157m, in earnings from its Americas division — SKG chief executive Tony Smurfit said the region holds strong growth options.
“We see the Americas as a region for growth, with ongoing opportunities to expand our geographic reach,” he said.
On a group-wide basis, Smurfit Kappa generated revenues of nearly €4.43bn for the first six months of the year, up 5% on the same period last year.
Earnings, on an EBITDA basis, were up 27% at €724m, pre-tax profits were ahead 70% at €416m, and basic earnings per share rose by 68% to 124.5c. Earnings from its European operations grew by 34% to €587m.
SKG’s shares were up by over 3% on the back of the results.
“Free cash flow will be even stronger than currently forecast. This will provide the company with further shareholder value-enhancing options. It is little wonder why the company’s board was so resistant to a takeover,” said Davy.