International packaging and paper group Mondi has posted significant improvements across its operations, lifting earnings by more than 25% for 2015.
Basic headline earnings a share increased from €0.99 in 2014 to €1.23 apiece in 2015, while basic earnings a share increased 27% to € 1.24 for the year ended December 31, compared with the €0.97 recorded in the prior financial year.
Profit for the period increased to €645-million from the €497-million achieved in 2014.
Operating profit increased 24% to €900-million in 2015 and the achieved group revenue of €6.8-billion was up 7% on the prior year.
“2015 was an extremely successful year for Mondi. We made significant progress across a number of key areas and again delivered excellent results. Our focus continues to be on growing the packaging side of our business while, at the same time, investing appropriately in our uncoated fine paper operations,” CEO David Hathorn said.
Mondi increased cash generated from operations by 24% to €1.3-billion, while reducing net debt by €115-million to €1.5-billion or 1.1 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation.
“We achieved excellent results on all key metrics and the strong contribution from all our business units is testament to our consistent strategy, robust business model and high-quality, low-cost asset base,” he pointed out.
Mondi’s capital investment programme continued during the year under review, delivering incremental operating profit of €50-million, with a further €60-million anticipated in 2016.
Going forward, the group would maintain its strong capital investment pipeline of €450-million in major projects, including a €310-million investment in a new 300 000 t/y kraft top white machine at Mondi’s Ružomberok mill, in Slovakia.
“Our outlook for the business remains positive. While we are currently seeing some softness in certain of our packaging paper grades, we are also seeing firmer prices in the European uncoated fine paper markets following recent industry capacity rationalisation,” said Hathorn.
Mondi declared a full-year dividend of €0. 0.052 a share.