A good performance by plastics packaging businesses in David S. Smith (Holdings) plc helped to cushion steeply falling sales and profit at the British paper and packaging company.
David S. Smith of London reported its plastics molding operations, located at 13 sites across Europe, partially offset poor overall results. Pretax profit for the fiscal year ended in May plummeted 47 percent, to $83 million. Sales were down nearly 6 percent, to $1.8 billion.
Meanwhile, the company still plans to expand abroad through acquisition, despite the failure of its May bid to take over Kappa Packaging NV, a subsidiary of Netherlands paper company KNP.
``The group continues to seek opportunities to increase shareholder value through acquisition, with the primary emphasis being on expanding our geographical coverage throughout Europe,'' said Peter Williams, chief executive officer of David S. Smith.
Kaysersberg Packaging, a corrugated and plastics-based packaging offshoot with plants in France, Italy and England, showed lower results than the previous year ``in intensely competitive markets,'' Smith said.
The division includes Kaysersberg Plastics in northeastern France, a producer of extruded twin-wall polycarbonate, twin-wall polypropylene and solid PP sheets for construction and reusable packaging. The company invested $3 million to expand the Kaysersberg plant last year, adding a new, twin-wall PC sheet extrusion line to replace glass in some construction applications.
The company also thermoforms plastics for heavy-duty containers; injection molds beverage crates, valves and closures; and produces laminates, and flexible material for packaging.