Irish-founded packaging firm Powerflute remains open to purchases

Irish-founded packaging firm Powerflute remains open to further acquisitions despite challenging market conditions weighing on first-half results.

The Finland-based business is chaired and founded by Dermot Smurfit.

Yesterday, it reported earnings of €26.5m for the first six months of the year, largely unchanged from the same period last year and a €3.6m drop in revenues to €176.1m.

Pre-tax profit inched higher from €18.2m to €18.5m.

Mechanical issues in the packaging papers division contributed to the sales fall, but a reversal of trends is expected in the second half.

Elsewhere, the coreboard business delivered a strong first half and the integration of Corenso, the international cardboard manufacturer acquired in 2014, has largely been completed.

Earlier this year, Powerflute said the success of the Corenso deal had led it to consider further takeovers.

Although potential acquisitions were not alluded to in the interim statement, a spokesperson said the company is still evaluating targets.

As noted by analysts, Powerflute remains strongly capitalised, with net debt amounting to €42.9m as of the end of June; down from €52m at the same stage last year.

Its debt is now just 0.8 times its earnings. While markets are set to remain competitive for the rest of the year, the company expects to continue to perform well for the full year.


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