(Alliance News) - DS Smith PLC on Thursday said that trading in its current financial year has been in line with forecasts, and confirmed the start date of its new finance director.

The London-based packaging firm said it expects earnings before interest, tax and amortisation for its financial year ending April 30 to be between GBP850 million and GBP860 million. In financial 2022, DS Smith reported a full-year Ebita of GBP616 million, so at best, it predicts growth of around 40% this year.

"Excellent customer relationships, and our high levels of service, product innovation and sustainability focus have driven resilient packaging prices during the period. Combined with good cost management, this has more than offset the weaker than expected volumes to deliver growth in profitability and delivery in line with our medium-term financial target," DS Smith explained.

In December, DS Smith said revenue in the half-year ended October 31 rose 28% to GBP4.30 billion from GBP3.36 billion a year before. Pretax profit surged 82% to GBP322 million from GBP177 million. It also announced an interim dividend of 6.0 pence per share, up 25% from 4.8p a year before.

Chief Executive Officer Miles Roberts said: "I am pleased with the excellent performance we have delivered this year, despite the volatile macroeconomic conditions. Our relentless focus on more resilient international [fast-moving consumer goods] customers to meet their rapidly evolving needs has enabled us to increase our share of their business and, together with ongoing cost management, has driven very strong profit growth."

Later on Thursday, DS Smith confirmed that Group Finance Director & Executive Director Adrian Marsh will step down on June 30. Richard Pike will replace him from that date.

Pike joined the company as an employee in March.

Back in November, Biffa PLC said that Pike had resigned as chief financial officer. The High Wycombe, England-based waste management company had agreed a GBP1.3 billion takeover offer from private equity firm, Energy Capital Partners LLC, just two months prior.

At the time, Biffa said Pike had accepted the new position at DS Smith.

Shares in DS Smith were down 0.5% to 310.10 pence each in London on Thursday morning.

By Sophie Rose, Alliance News reporter

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