To double our size and profitability

We aim to double our size and profitability by being well positioned in developed markets; working with major FMCG brands; driving market share gains and investing behind fundamental growth drivers.

Our goal is to double our size and profitability. Despite market challenges, our strong customer relationships and focus on quality and service enabled us to gain market share in the more resilient FMCG and other consumer-related sectors. For FY22/23 our revenue grew by 11% on a constant currency basis and 14% on a reported basis. We saw a decline in box volumes due to the impact of de-stocking by our customers and weak end consumer demand. However, our deep customer relationships and cost mitigation strategies drove profit growth. Despite the impact of inflation on revenues and costs, we increased our return on sales and capital employed.

Cash flow and net debt  

For FY22/23, DS Smith generated £354 million in free cash flow, which was lower than the previous year due to increased spending on capital and working capital outflow. However, our cash conversion was on target, at 101%, and we expect the remaining balance of the working capital outflow to reverse by next year. We invested in net capex of £526 million, which was used to support ongoing customer-led projects and our energy efficiency programmes. Additionally, we experienced an increase in net debt for the abovementioned reasons, but our net debt/EBITDA ratio has improved substantially. Our credit rating remains stable, and we remain committed to maintaining our investment grade credit rating.

Investing for growth 

Our company has grown dramatically over the last ten years by expanding our reach and capabilities. We're proud to support our customers in our chosen markets with a focus on fully sustainable packaging solutions for fast-moving consumer goods. We've been making significant progress with our customers and have gained a lot of market share, which gives us the confidence to invest even more in their needs and drive growth. We plan to spend around £500 million on innovation, capacity, and efficiency improvements by FY23/24. Our goal is to help customers achieve their sustainability goals, align our paper capability with their needs, and reduce our carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.

We are turbocharging sustainability efforts with €90m investment at Rouen paper mill.
We are turbocharging sustainability efforts with €90m investment at Rouen paper mill.

Leading the way in sustainability 

We've been focusing on sustainability for years by developing fibre-based corrugated packaging. Our customers appreciate our commitment to using circular design metrics and sustainable solutions. We've helped them replace 762 million plastic units since 2020 and 297 million in FY22/23. We've also made strides in meeting our sustainability targets by reducing CO2 emissions by 10%, manufacturing 100% reusable/recyclable packaging, and launching biodiversity programmes at 13 mills. Our efforts have been recognised by external indices such as S&P Global, Sustainalytics, CDP, MSCI, and EcoVadis, which is excellent news. 

Opening of the Pennygillam Community Woodland / Fun recyclable packaging for PLAYMOBIL
Opening of the Pennygillam Community Woodland / Fun recyclable packaging for PLAYMOBIL


For FY22/23 we announced a final dividend of 12.0 pence per share, taking the total dividend for this year to 18.0 pence per share, an increase of 20 per cent consistent with our policy of 2.0-2.5 times dividend cover over the medium term. Subject to approval by shareholders at the AGM to be held on 5 September 2023, the final dividend will be paid on 3 October 2023 to shareholders on the register at the close of business on 8 September 2023.

Progress against medium-term targets 

We aim to increase our organic volume growth by at least 3% above the GDP and achieve a return on sales of 10% to 12%. We also strive to maintain a net debt to EBITDA ratio of less than 2.0x. We also aim for a cash conversion rate of at least 100%. These targets are crucial for measuring our performance and ensuring that we're on track to achieving our goals.

Non-financial key performance indicators 

We care about our employees' safety and productivity, and we're happy to report that our safety record has improved by 6%. We're proud that 265 out of 325 sites had no accidents this year, and we're committed to achieving zero accidents for the whole group. We've improved our on-time, in-full deliveries to 96% - a significant increase from last year. We aim to reach 97% and provide our customers with the best service, quality, and innovation.