DS Smith has reported a profit of £204m ($256m) for the first half (H1) of financial year 2023/2024 (FY23/FY24) down by 12% from £232m in H1 FY22/23.

For the six months ending 31 October 2023, basic and diluted earnings per share (EPS) from continuing and discontinued operations declined to 14.8p.

In H1 FY22/23, basic and diluted EPS from continuing and discontinued operations stood at 16.9p and 16.8p, respectively.

Revenue for the latest reported period stood at £3.51bn, a decrease of 18% on a reported and constant currency basis from £4.29bn in H1 FY22/23.

This decline in revenue, according to Smith, was mainly due to a 4.7% decrease in box volumes compared to last year and lower selling prices across the group.

Profit before income tax was down by 15% on a reported and constant currency basis to £268m from £315m in the previous year’s H1.

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Operating profit for H1 FY23/24 totalled £314m, down by 10% on a reported and constant currency basis from £349m in FY22/23.

Smith’s adjusted operating profit (or operating profit before amortisation, acquisitions and divestments) in H1 FY23/24 declined by 13% on a reported basis and 12% on a constant currency basis to £365m from £418m in H1 last year.

In the current year’s H1 period, the company’s net debt/earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) ratio was 1.7 times, which the company said is within its medium-term target of at/below 2.0 times.

Smith CEO Miles Roberts said: “I am pleased with the performance for the first half of the year. Our focus on value-added packaging solutions to predominantly FMCG [fast-moving consumer goods] customers, together with the benefit from our self-help productivity initiatives and flexible supply chain has driven a robust profit performance.

“Our Q2 [second-quarter] volume performance was improved versus Q1 and we expect this trend to continue with H2 volumes stronger than H1, sequentially and on a like-for-like basis, as we continue to win market share.

“While we anticipate markets to remain challenging, we remain focused on our customers and our costs and expect to deliver full-year results in line with management expectations.”