- Packaging company DS Smith booked a 37% fall in annual profit after the pandemic shrank packaging volumes and pushed up the cost of raw materials.

Pre-tax profit for the year through April dropped to £231 million, down from £368 million year-on-year, as revenue edged back 1% to £5.98 billion.

DS Smith said its performance had improved throughout the year and it declared a full-year dividend of 12.1p per share, compared to zero payment year-on-year.

Its adjusted operating profit in the second half was £272 million, up from £230 million in the first.

DS Smith said it had seen 'good progress' with the initial price recovery of input cost increases.

'The current year has started well, with the volume momentum of the final quarter of the 2021 financial year continuing into this year,' the company said.

'Inflationary cost pressures have also continued, in particular old corrugated cases, but also other costs such as energy, transport and labour.'

'Packaging prices have started to increase and we expect to fully recover these increasing costs.'

'Accordingly, while there remains uncertainty in the overall economic environment, demand is strong and we expect to make good progress this year.'

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