The company’s corrugated box volumes dropped slightly on a like-for-like (LFL) basis against the 13% growth in the same period a year earlier.
In its trading update, DS Smith said that it expects its corrugated box volumes to grow by at least 2% for the full year.
In addition, all the company’s input costs, including that of energy, increased significantly but were mitigated by its efficiency initiatives and long-term hedging programme.
DS Smith said that more than 90% of its natural gas costs hedged for FY23 are being recovered through increased packaging pricing.
The company has kept its guidance unchanged for the full year and expects a ‘significant improvement’ in performance.
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DS Smith group chief executive Miles Roberts said: “We have started the financial year very strongly, despite the current macroeconomic conditions.
“Whilst the industrial sector is showing some weakness, our fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) business remains resilient.
“The increased profitability and cash generation is being driven by improving efficiency and cost increase mitigation as well as successfully continuing to raise packaging prices.
“Overall returns on capital remain within our medium-term target.
“As we enter the second quarter, we are very mindful of the challenging economic environment in which we operate and the impact it has on both our customers and colleagues. However, our operating plans and progress to date continue to give us confidence in our outlook for FY23.”
In a separate development, DS Smith has appointed Keith Tornes as managing director for paper, forestry and recycling for its North American business.
Tornes previously served as segment manufacturing manager for protective solutions at Sonoco.