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May 6, 2021

WestRock second-quarter net sales remain flat

US-based paper and packaging solutions firm WestRock has reported net sales of $4.4bn in the three months to 31 March.

The figure remains flat compared to the same quarter of the previous year, despite WestRock losing $189m in sales due to the impact of a ransomware incident and cold weather.

The company said the lost sales and disruption in operations resulted from the adverse events, leading to a negative impact of $80m pre-tax, or $0.23 for each share.

WestRock lost a total of 167,000t of containerboard and paperboard production due to the events.

The company’s corrugated packaging segment recorded a $31m increase in net sales to $2.9bn.

But its consumer packaging segment’s net sales declined from $1.61bn in the second quarter of last year to $1.59bn.

Income for WestRock’s corrugated packaging and consumer packaging segments decreased by $39m and $10m respectively.

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The company also announced a quarterly dividend of $0.24 for each share, representing a 20% increase of $0.04 for each share.

WestRock CEO David B Sewell said: “WestRock has a broad portfolio of differentiated products that uniquely positions us to serve our customers and the growing demand for sustainable packaging solutions.

“We have made a remarkable recovery from the incidents in the second quarter, and I want to thank our teammates for their dedication to our company and our customers.

“With these events behind us, we are confident in our business and our ability to generate strong cash flow, which is evident by our dividend increase announced today. I look forward to what’s ahead for our company.”

In March, Packaging Gateway listed WestRock as one of the packaging industry’s most influential companies for the fourth quarter of last year.

The companies, which also included Labels and Labelling and Future of Packaging, were ranked based on their performance and engagement online.

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