DS Smith PLC (LON;SMDS) said the online shopping boom is continuing to drive up demand for cardboard boxes
In a trading update, the FTSE 100 group and supplier to Amazon and others, said since 1 November 2020 box volumes, in particular, had been strong and though input costs had increased, overall trading was in line with expectations.
Group like-for-like corrugated box volume growth accelerated compared to the previous (second) quarter with the e-commerce and FMCG [consumer goods] strength over the Christmas period continuing into 2021, together with signs of recovery from industrial customers.
Northern European and North America were the strongest areas, it added, with the North American business seeing significantly improved results due to good domestic volume growth, with corresponding reduced exports of paper, and increasing pricing.
Input costs have increased during the period which, together with high demand, continues to drive higher paper prices.
Miles Roberts, Group Chief Executive, said: “We are seeing excellent demand from FMCG and e-commerce customers for our sustainable packaging products and solutions and we continue to invest for growth in these areas.
“COVID-19 is accelerating a number of the structural growth drivers and with our leading position in recycling and fibre-based packaging we are well-positioned to capitalise and drive further market share gains.
“While the economic environment remains uncertain due to Covid-19, we are experiencing good momentum across the business in both Europe and North America. “