Belfast Telegraph

Profits flat at Smurfit's Powerflute

By John Mulligan

Pre-tax profits at Finnish paper manufacturer Powerflute, which is controlled by Dermot Smurfit and his family, remained flat at €18.5m (£16m) in the first half of the year, as revenue declined to €176.1m (£152m) from €179.7m (£155m).

In December, Powerflute terminated takeover talks with private equity giant Madison Dearborn, which saw Mr Smurfit and his brother Michael lose out on a more than €100m pay day.

Releasing first-half results yesterday, Powerflute said that its earnings per share edged slightly higher, from 4.3 cent to 4.5 cent, while net debt rose to €42.9m (£37m) from €37.1m (£32m) at the end of December.

The company refinanced €120m of borrowing facilities last month, which will result in its interest bill being cut.

Executive chairman Dermot Smurfit said the first-half performance had been good. "Markets are expected to remain competitive throughout the second half."

Belfast Telegraph