- Packaging company Mondi has reported a decline in revenue for the first half of 2020 and lower underlying EBITDA, citing 'softer pricing' in a 'challenging' trading environment but announced it has resumed dividend payments.

Underlying EBITDA for the half-year ended 30 June 2020 was down 17% to €738m compared to the same period in 2019, as the impact of COVID-19 and the related lockdown measures exacerbated already challenging pricing and trading.

The company announced revenue of €3.5bn was down from €3.8bn a year earlier due to lower average selling prices across its key paper grades, which more than offset 'good volume growth' in corrugated packaging and flexible packaging during the period.

Mondi said that uncoated fine paper volumes were impacted by lower demand for commercial, professional and office printing as a result of the widespread lockdown measures.

Pre-tax profit for the half-year was €466m, down from €632m in the same period a year earlier.

The company announced it has resumed dividend payments in line with its policy, with a 29.75 euro cents per share dividend relating to 2019 financial year declared and a 19.00 euro cents per share 2020 interim ordinary dividend declared, bringing the total dividend declared to 48.75 euro cents per share.

Chief executive Andrew King said: 'The board recognises the importance of dividends to shareholders.

'Having delivered a robust trading performance in the first half of the year and given our resilient business model and strong financial position, the board has revisited the decision taken in April to suspend the final 2019 dividend and is pleased to resume the payment of dividends.'

Mondi said it had postponed most planned maintenance shuts to the second half of the year and estimated that the full-year impact on underlying EBITDA of its planned maintenance shuts at around €100m, compared to €150m in 2019, of which the first-half effect was around €10m.

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