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Smurfit Kappa CEO awarded European CEO of the Year by RISI

Smurfit Kappa CEO Gary McGann has been awarded 2015 European CEO of the Year for the second year running by investment analysts and portfolio managers covering the European and global pulp and paper industry.

The consecutive awards follow Institutional Investor magazine naming Mr McGann Best CEO in the sector for 2013.


Awarded by RISI, the leading information provider for the global forest products industry, the criteria for nomination included leadership, vision and strategic accomplishment.

In the first nine months of 2014, Smurfit Kappa delivered year-on-year growth in EBITDA of 6% and pre-exceptional EPS growth of 55%, reflecting the continuing benefits of the Group’s integrated business model, the strength of its international portfolio of businesses, the consistent delivery on cost reduction initiatives and a fundamentally improved capital structure.

The US acquisition of Bates Container for US$158 million in October 2014 built on the previous acquisition of what is now Smurfit Kappa Orange County, and recent acquisitions in Colombia and Dominican Republic have further enhanced the Group’s footprint in the Americas region.

In December 2014, the Group’s credit rating was upgraded to BB+ / Ba1 by both Moody’s Investors Service and by Fitch Ratings, which followed an upgrade by Standard & Poor’s in February 2014.

Last year also saw the launch of Smurfit Kappa’s new, innovation-focused global brand strategy, ‘Open the future’.

Before joining the company in 1998, Mr McGann was Chief Executive of Aer Lingus Group and of Gilbeys of Ireland. Mr McGann is Chairman of Aon Ireland, a Director of Paddy Power Plc, a Director of Green REIT plc, and a Director of IBEC (Irish Business and Employers’ Confederation). He is also a member of the ERT (European Round Table of Industrialists) and the Chairman of CEPI (Confederation of European Paper Industries).

Categories: Smurfit Kappa Machine Systems News


Smurfit Kappa opens second UK Experience Centre

 Smurfit Kappa opens second UK Experience Centre leading to more accessible innovative solutions and services for customers

Smurfit Kappa, one of the world’s leading packaging companies, has announced the opening of a new Experience Centre in Mold, North Wales, the United Kingdom, bringing to seven the number of regional centres across Europe.

The centre gives customers hands-on, real-time insights into how to meet their business needs, and does so through the relentless implementation of packaging and service innovations. It follows the opening in 2012 of the first UK Experience Centre in Yate, South-West England.

Working with the Smurfit Kappa team, visitors to the Mold Experience Centre will be able to immerse themselves in the latest insights and experience first-hand the latest in packaging and service innovation. The centre is equipped with state-of-the-art technologies and tools, such as a Virtual Store, a Retail Insight Centre, a Shelf Viewer and a full screen cinema room.

The Mold centre is the latest in a series of centres that have opened across Europe as part of Smurfit Kappa’s ’Open the future’ global brand strategy. Aimed at delivering customer growth through insight and innovation, the strategy is also being used to aid brands battling to win the First Moment of Truth, where shoppers choose one brand over another.

According to analysis revealed in the Smurfit Kappa report ‘Marketing on the shelf – exactly how in control are you?’, up to 40% of a product viewed on-shelf can be made up of secondary packaging, a valuable marketing channel which too often falls outside the radar of brand teams.

Arco Berkenbosch, VP Marketing, Research and Development at Smurfit Kappa, said: “These centres are an innovative and refreshing environment where we want to invite our customers to inspire them and show them first-hand how we can help them to be even more successful in their respective markets.”

“By opening the centre in Mold we are able to offer a localised service that supports businesses based around the region. Visiting the Experience Centre will create a situation where we can clearly define our customers’ needs in the world where our customers are operating,” added Phil Husband, Smurfit Kappa UK Packaging Development Manager.

Smurfit Kappa’s two UK Experience Centres join a network being rolled out in Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Ireland and Spain. The hub, one of the largest packaging Experience Centres in the world, is due to open in spring 2015 at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.

Arco Berkenbosch added: “These centres enable us to share our global expertise at a local level directly to the customer. They can then evaluate, tailor and test the packaging in the centre, before any financial investment has been made.”

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