Pre-Close Statement

RNS Number : 0571D
Smith (DS) PLC
24 April 2013

24 April 2013

DS Smith Plc - Pre-Close Statement

DS Smith Plc, the leading supplier of recycled packaging for consumer goods, today issues its Pre-Close Statement for the full-year to 30 April 2013.

Trading and Integration

After a transformational period for the Group, the business expects to deliver operating profit fully in line with expectations and earnings per share towards the higher end of expectations. With a near doubling in the size of the Group, we expect revenues to be c. £3.7bn, up around 90% on the prior year. Our core Packaging businesses have delivered underlying volume growth in line with our GDP+1% medium term financial target. As inprevious announcements, the original DS Smith business has continued to outperform and we are now starting to see an improving trend in the ex-SCA Packaging business.

We continue to make strong progress in the early delivery of synergies associated with the integration of SCA Packaging and are on track to deliver cost and cash synergies as previously advised, with around €40 million of cost synergies this year versus original guidance of €25 million. In addition, we expect to deliver a return above our cost of capital in the 10 months to 30 April 2013, a year earlier than originally announced. The business continues to generate strong cash flow and we expect the ratio of net debt to EBITDA to fall to 2.0x or below by 30 April 2013.

Miles Roberts, Group Chief Executive, said:

"We are delighted with the substantial operating, financial and strategic progress made in the past year, in what has been a transformational period for the Group and our people. Looking ahead, whilst the European packaging market remains competitive, we expect to make further significant progress. Our Packaging businesses continue to grow as we leverage our enlarged and strengthened geographic footprint and further develop our commercial proposition, particularly with our largest pan-European customers.

We look forward to delivering further substantial progress in the coming year."

Conference Call

A conference call for analysts and investors, hosted by Miles Roberts and Steve Dryden, will take place today, 24 April 2013 at 08.00 BST. The dial-in number is:

UK / International +44 (0)20 3003 2666

UK Toll Free 0808 109 0700

Password DS Smith

A play-back facility of this call will be available until 1 May 2013. The dial-in number is:+44 (0)20 8196 1998, access pin 5601987. A recording and transcript of the call will also be available through the Investor Relations section of our website:

Forthcoming Dates

Results for the full-year to 30 April 2013


27 June 2013

3 September 2013


DS Smith Plc +44 (0)1628 583 400

Miles Roberts, Group Chief Executive

Steve Dryden, Group Finance Director

Louise Richardson, Interim Head of Investor Relations

Tulchan +44 (0)20 7353 4200

David Allchurch

This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange