An employee carries a giant roll of paper inside the DS Smith Packaging Atlantique cardboard box manufacturing company in La Chevrolière near Nantes, France, April 25, 2019. REUTERS / Stephane Mahe / File Photo

  • Expects to benefit from eco-conscious online shoppers
  • Pre-tax profit 38% lower than initial pandemic impact
  • Announces a final dividend of 8.1p

June 22 (Reuters) – British carton maker DS Smith (SMDS.L) expects to thrive on a sustained boom in online shopping and growing demand for recyclable packaging, he said on Tuesday as he reported a recovery in the second half of the year after a first pandemic induced subsidence.

DS Smith, which supplies packaging products to companies such as Amazon (AMZN.O), Nestlé (NESN.S) and Unilever (ULVR.L), said its adjusted second-half operating profit of his exercise had increased by more than 18%. from the first half of the year, citing growing demand, particularly in the United States.

The company expects the online shopping boom to continue even after the end of COVID-19 lockdowns, saying consumers now prefer the choice and convenience it offers, and plans to harness the growth continued demand for sustainable products.

As Europe’s largest cardboard recycler, the London-based company is committed to making 100% recyclable packaging by 2023, he said.

As consumers are more aware of the need to recycle packaging and the importance of alternatives to plastics, it has also increased its investments to set up box factories in Italy and Poland.

“This is our highest growth rate ever. We are pleased with this growth in the COVID age,” said chief executive Miles Roberts of the company’s second half production of boxes.

Pre-tax profit for the full year ended April 30 fell 38% to £ 231million as the pandemic hit operations hard in the first half of the year.

Shares of the company were down 1.8% to 424 pence at 9:56 a.m. GMT.

For the current year, the company said it expects higher packaging prices to offset rising energy, transportation and labor costs.

DS Smith also announced a final dividend of 8.1 pence, bringing its total dividend for the year to 12.1 pence.

($ 1 = 0.7193 pounds)

Reporting by Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru, editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.