Board Converting News, January 18, 2021

SKG’s CEO Tony Smurfit Named 2021 European CEO Of The Year Fastmarkets RISI has announced that Tony Smurfit, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Group, has been named the Fastmarkets RISI 2021 European CEO of the Year. The award will be presented at the Virtual Fastmarkets RISI European Con-



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ference, on Monday, March 8th. The European CEO of the Year Award is nominated by a group of investment analysts, industry con- sultants and commentators cover- ing the European and global pulp and paper industry. The reasons cited for Smurfit’s win largely cen- tered around his leadership during

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Tony Smurfit

the Covid-19 pandemic and the company’s continued in- vestment in future growth. One analyst recognized “the company’s resilient performance during the pandemic” as well as “their recent front-footed approach to invest- ing to capitalize on the sustainability opportunities that are emerging in their end markets.” Smurfit Kappa is the fifth largest containerboard pro- ducer in the world. The company operates with a top ca- pacity position in Europe along with notable positions in Mexico and Latin America, as well as North America. In early December, Smurfit Kappa’s stock hit a record high, which was eclipsed this week. Becoming CEO in 2015, Mr. Smurfit has since “delivered total shareholder returns of 180 percent against a market (FTSE100) of 17 percent,” an industry contact said. Following 18 percent profit margins in 2018 and 2019, Smurfit Kappa was on track to another 18 percent margin year for 2020 – with sales of 8.3 billion to 8.4 billion Eu- ros, based on a Fastmarkets RISI PPI Pulp & Paper Week estimate, and a company-guided EBITDA of 1.46 billion to 1.48 billion Euros. A second nominating analyst referred to Smurfit Kappa investments decisions as “clear management leadership, calling the trough on Covid-19 box demand and invest- ing for multi-year box volume and sustainability growth ahead.” A further analyst praised Mr. Smurfit’s “positive man- agement behavior” during the recent Covid-19 outbreak and cited this as a reason for his win. The analyst was par- ticularly impressed by the company’s recognition of their “humble hero employees who kept customers supplied with boxes during the worst of Covid-19.” According to Smurfit Kappa, since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, Tony Smurfit virtually visited more than 250 plants, and the Group also paying back govern- ment relief funds it received and provided a fourth-quarter bonus to employees. Smurfit will deliver a keynote speech on March 8th at the Fastmarkets RISI European Conference, to be held vir- tually on Zerista this year.


The EMBA group supports a complete line of corrugated converting machinery for the worldwide market. EMBA’s Quick Set technology enables the highest productivity across a broad range of converting equipment, from mini to super jumbo. EMBA also includes the McKinley jumbo line of flexo folder gluers and rotary die cutters as well as ser- vice, rebuilds and upgrades for both EMBA and McKinley.


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January 18, 2021

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