June 18, 2018 / 7:31 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-UK packaging firm DS Smith's revenue rises on Europe, e-commerce demand

(Adds details on year, outlook, executive comment)

June 18 (Reuters) - British packaging group DS Smith Plc said on Monday full-year profit rose 21 percent, driven by acquisitions, robust volumes in European markets and higher e-commerce demand.

The company, which has become bigger through acquisitions, has struggled with rising input costs due to a surge in paper and pulp prices and a Chinese import ban.

Despite cost headwinds, DS Smith said it was seeing good recovery in paper cost increases in Western Europe - a market the company has been looking to bolster with a 1.9 billion euros ($2.20 billion) plan to buy Spanish rival Europac.

"Like-for-like corrugated packaging volumes in the region (Western Europe) have been strong, with both France and Iberia gaining market share with pan-European and e-commerce customers," said DS Smith in a statement.

The company said corrugated box volume growth was at 5.2 percent, with growth seen in all regions.

The company said the current year had started well, with volume growth momentum continuing from the last fiscal year.

The FTSE-100 firm, which makes corrugated cardboard, recycled paper and plastic packaging, serves European fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) operators and competes with Smurfit Kappa Group Plc, Mondi Plc and RPC Group Plc.

DS Smith's adjusted pretax profit rose to 473 million pounds ($627.6 million) in the year ended April 30, from 391 million pounds, a year ago.

The company, which supplies boxes to Amazon.com Inc and Next Plc, said revenue rose to 5.77 billion pounds from 4.78 billion pounds last year.

$1 = 0.7537 pounds $1 = 0.8628 euros Reporting by Muvija M in and Justin George Varghese Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri, Bernard Orr

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