Measuring Our Progress

Our strategy is balanced across our four key strategic priorities: to delight
our customers, to realise the potential of our people, to double our size and
profitability, and to lead the way in sustainability.

Strategy and Key Performance Indicators

  • To delight our customers
  • To realise the potential of our people 
  • To lead the way in sustainability
  • To double the size and profitability of the business

To delight our customers

On-time, in-full delivery (OTIF)

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DefinitionProportion of orders fulfilled on-time, in-full, across all businesses.

To realise the potential of our people 

Accident Frequency Rate (AFR)

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DefinitionThe number of lost-time accidents (LTAs) per million hours worked.

To lead the way in sustainability

CO2 equivalent emissions

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Definition: Total CO2 equivalent (CO2e ) emissions per tonne of production.


To double the size and profitability of the business

Like-for-like corrugated volume growth

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........ Weighted GDP +1% target

DefinitionLike-for-like volume of corrugated box products sold (excluding the effect of acquisitions and disposals) measured by area.

2020 Performance: In 2020 our corrugated box volumes grew 0.6 per cent, ahead of our target of GDP + 1 per cent (being 0.4 per cent). The +0.6 per cent is the net effect of good growth in the first 11 months of the year and a contraction in April due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

 Return on sales 

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Definition: Earnings before interest, tax, amortisation and exceptional items as a percentage of revenue.

2020 Perfomance: In 2020 we achieved a return on sales of 10.9 per cent, around the middle of our upgraded target range and despite the impact of Covid-19 in the final quarter. This performance is due to our drive for more value-added packaging and the benefit of the inclusion for a full year of our Europac business.

Return on average capital employed (ROACE)


DefinitionEarnings before interest, tax, amortisation and exceptional items as a percentage of average capital employed, including goodwill, over the prior 12 month period.

2020 Perfomance: In 2020 we achieved a ROACE of 10.6 per cent, under our
target range and above our cost of capital. This reflects the expected initial dilutive impact of the two recent and large acquisitions and a disposal: Interstate Resources, for which this year is the second full year of ownership, Europac, for which this year is the first full year of ownership; and the disposal of Plastics, which was completed this year. The current year performance also
includes, for the first time, the slight adverse effect of the adoption of IFRS 16 Leases of 30 basis points.

Net debt/EBITDA


Definition: Net debt calculated at average FX rates for the year, over earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and exceptional items for the preceding 12 month period.

2020 Performance: Net debt/EBITDA at 30 April 2020 is 2.1 times. This is a reduction on 2.3 times as at 30 April 2019, driven by the proceeds of the sale of the Plastics business and organic free cash flow growth.

Cash conversion 

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Definition: Free cash flow before tax, net interest, growth capex, pension payments and exceptional cash flows as a percentage of earnings before interest, tax, amortisation and exceptional items.

2020 Performance: In 2020 we achieved cash conversion in line with our target of 100 per cent or greater.