First quarter 2017 key points included group revenue growth of 6% (3.7% on a days adjusted basis). EBITDA owas €278 million with a margin of 13%, and ROCE was 15.0%, in line with the Group target. The company reported improved free cash flow year-on-year.
“We are pleased to report that SKG has again delivered a strong set of results,” Tony Smurfit, Group CEO, csaid. “The Group reported good revenue growth of 6%, or 3.7% on a days adjusted basis, and EBITDA of €278 million versus the same period last year. These results, against a backdrop of significant recovered fibre cost inflation of approximately €30 million year-on-year, reflect the continued strength of our business. We expect improved margins as paper price increases translate into higher box prices.
“In the first quarter our corrugated volumes were generally good across most markets with the Group recording growth of 3%, “ he added. “With solid demand, tight inventories and higher input costs, containerboard prices across all grades have been, and continue to be increased. These increases have provided the backdrop for necessary box price increases which will be progressively implemented during 2017. We are also pleased to report that our cash flow and debt ratios improved in what is traditionally a softer quarter.”