Mondi confident of further progress following €1.2bn acquisitions

International packaging and paper group Mondi is confident of economic slowdown-defying progress, following its €1.2bn of strategic acquisitions.

The group reported its full year results and, despite its confidence, posted a 19% dip in pre-tax profits to €371m. It was boosted by revenues, which were up 1% to €5.8bn Mondi said it will focus on further integration and optimisation of the recent purchases and delivery of capital investment projects we they have initiated over the course of the past year.

David Hathorn (pictured), Mondi Group chief executive, said: “Mondi delivered a solid financial performance in what remains an uncertain economic environment. While the early part of the year was particularly challenging, trading picked up as the year progressed, culminating in a strong final quarter.

“Continued strong profitability resulted in a return on capital employed (ROCE) of 13.7%, once again above our through-the-cycle target of 13%. Net debt finished the year at €1,864m, largely due to the €1.2bn of strategic acquisitions in higher growth packaging segments completed during the year.

“I am very pleased to see the progress we have already made in integrating our recent acquisitions, exemplified by the fact we have revised upwards by 33% our estimate of expected synergies to €30m per annum within two years.

“Fundamentals for our core segments remain sound, although recently announced capacity additions by various manufacturers in selected paper grades are a concern, exacerbated by the prevailing demand softness as Europe remains affected by the macroeconomic slowdown. However, with the strong finish to the year, coupled with the expected contribution from the recent acquisitions, we remain confident of making progress in the year ahead.”

Mondi has production operations across 30 countries . The Group’s key operations are located in central Europe, Russia and South Africa and as at the end of 2012, it employed 25,700 people.