Sustainable paper and packaging solutions provider Westrock has reported a net loss attributable to common stockholders of $22.4m for the first quarter (Q1) of financial year 2024 (FY24), a stark contrast to $45.3m of net income attributable to common stockholders in the same period in FY23.
The company’s diluted loss per share stood at $0.09 in Q1 FY24, compared with earnings per share of $0.18 in Q1 FY23.
Its consolidated adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) for the latest quarter was $570.7m, as against $652.1m reported in the first quarter of financial year 2023.
This decline was primarily attributed to lower adjusted EBITDA in its Global Paper and Consumer Packaging segments, coupled with an increase in corporate non-allocated expenses.
For the quarter ending 31 December 2023, WestRock’s net sales were $4.6bn, down by 6.1% from $4.9bn in the corresponding period last year.
The decrease in net sales was driven by a significant reduction in the Global Paper segment, which saw an 18.3% drop, and a 12.8% decrease in Consumer Packaging sales.
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These figures reflect the impact of divestitures of mills and interior partitions from the previous year, partially offset by a 3.5% increase in Corrugated Packaging segment sales.
The company’s Global Paper segment saw a notable 21.9% increase in containerboard shipments compared with the prior year’s corresponding quarter.
WestRock CEO David B Sewell said: “During the quarter, we grew external containerboard shipments, while we felt the impact of lower paperboard market demand.
“We are continuing to deliver on, and we expect to significantly exceed, our cost savings targets. Our transformation initiatives have strengthened our portfolio, are increasing vertical integration and created significant operational efficiencies. With our broad portfolio of packaging solutions and self-help initiatives, we are well positioned to capitalise on the opportunities ahead.”
In September last year, Smurfit Kappa agreed to acquire Westrock in a landmark deal that will see the establishment of a new combined holding company dubbed ‘Smurfit WestRock’.