DS Smith business has continued to perform well, driven by growth across the Group and the ongoing delivery of the previously announced synergies from the acquisition of SCA Packaging.
Like-for-like corrugated box volume growth has remained good and ahead of our medium term financial target of GDP +1%, with Germany and Central and Eastern Europe particularly strong. This volume growth reflects a strengthened customer proposition, driven by innovation and removing complexity and cost from our customers’ supply chain. The pass through of input cost rises to date, with the usual short-term impact, has been as expected. Return on sales and Roace continue to improve as the benefit of synergies flow through.
There has been no significant change in DS Smith’s financial position during the period.
The outlook remains positive. Volumes continue to grow and the pass through of increased input costs remains ongoing. The Board expects performance in line with our medium term financial targets and views the remainder of the year with confidence.
The Statement is in respect of the three month period to 31 January 2014.