- Packaging company DS Smith said it expected to declare an interim dividend amid an improvement in its like-for-like corrugated box volume performance.

'The business has progressed well in the period with performance continuing in line with our expectations, despite the macro-economic challenges that resulted from Covid-19,' the company said in an AGM trading update for the period starting 1 May.

DS Smith said that in August it had seen a return to positive growth versus August 2019.

The fast-moving consumer goods and and e-commerce had growth through the period, more than offsetting continuing challenging conditions in a number of industrial categories.

'Given the performance over the last quarter, and our improved clarity in the outlook, combined with a strong financial position the board intends to declare an interim dividend for the half year to 31 October 2020,' DS Smith said.

Chief executive Miles Roberts said the underlying drivers of demand for corrugated packaging remained strong.

'While the macro-economic outlook remains challenging, we are pleased to see volume growth in August and the reduced OCC costs,' he said.

'Our customer focus, strong cost control, cash generation, and liquidity profile, together with continued performance in line with our expectations, gives us confidence for the future.'

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