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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 today announces the launch of a new global brand strategy across 32 countries, which is set to Open the future for its customers. –

The new strategy focuses on delivering customer growth through insight and innovation, reflecting the continued battle for brand owners to win that all-important First Moment of Truth, where shoppers choose one brand over another.  It will deliver the deepest insights programme ever seen in the packaging industry and build a new network of customer experience centres around the world.

A new, global brand campaign called Open the future will showcase Smurfit Kappa’s dedication to customer growth, through its proactive, listening approach and its relentless pursuit of the critical gains which make the difference in consumer brand choice. It draws on the company’s global experience across packaging, paper and sustainability to help solve real-world problems, based on deep consumer insights.

The new brand strategy is the result of a 12-month long, global research programme, using the best business-to-business research specialists to establish what brand owners really want from the packaging industry. It included customers, suppliers and investors, as well as broad internal engagement with Smurfit Kappa employees across Europe and the Americas.

Open The Future - Smurfit Kappa Machine Systems

Gary McGann, Group Chief Executive Officer at Smurfit Kappa said,

“The world for global brands has become more challenging and fast moving but full of opportunity for those who embrace and lead new ideas, new technologies and new trends.  We are no different.  Our approach to innovation has to be rooted in the sharpest insights, exactly mirroring the approach of the brands who are our customers.”

The new brand strategy will be rolled out with a range of high profile customer service and innovation programmes which break new ground for the industry.  They include the launch of a bespoke customer insights programme, created especially for the world of packaging, which will deliver a depth of understanding of consumer markets, behaviour and trend data never seen before in the industry.

Smurfit Kappa is also building a new network of customer experience centres in its main markets.  The hub will be a showcase International Customer Experience Centre at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport where brand owners will spend days working alongside Smurfit Kappa experts, immersed in market insights and assessing new packaging innovations designed to deliver profitable growth and a sustainable supply chain.  Satellite versions of the centre will be introduced in other major markets worldwide.

Open the future is brought to life through a new, dynamic microsite, where a series of films demonstrate how customers across the world have worked in partnership with Smurfit Kappa to create innovative solutions which have driven commercial success.  The new microsite can be visited at and will be the home for new, shareable content updated regularly throughout the year.

Gary McGann added:

“The delivery of creative, forward-thinking solutions for brands has always been part of our DNA.  Today we’re taking that to a new level with a big commitment to increase our insight into our customers’ worlds and deliver growth through innovation.

“The industry has to look beyond our customers’ immediate packaging needs to understand what really makes their business and their customers tick and where future opportunities lie.  Only if we do that can we credibly produce insightful, creative solutions that will be taken seriously by brand owners and open up future growth opportunities.”


Visit our Open the future microsite

OTF Microsite - Smurfit Kappa Machine Systems

Categories: Smurfit Kappa Machine Systems News


The time for end of line case packaging automation is NOW!!!

It’s now more important than ever to ensure your End of Line Packaging Operations are as efficient and streamlined as possible in this ever evolving world.

Tray Packers products 

Every operation big and small needs to be investigating new technology to remove cost and ensure survival.  What are your plans for the next 3 to 5 years in ensuring you invest to stay ahead of the game?

Smurfit Kappa Machine Systems are much more than just a machinery manufacturer. We are experts in optimising OEE (Overall Equipment Efficiency) and appreciate it’s not just about our world class manufacturing case packing equipment. With our holistic approach, we question every part of your operation, driving collaboration from within your business to ensure we provide a bespoke case packing solution tailored to your customers exact packaging needs.

We start with your current packaging solutions, questioning every function of the pack:

  • Is your current corrugated packaging just a transport case?
  • Retail ready / shelf ready packaging?
  • “One touch” dispensing pack?
  • Do you need a system that can produce all three?
  • Are you looking for packaging savings whilst maintaining or increasing packaging performance?
  • What are your supply chain requirements to ensure your products arrive to the shelf in the same condition they left your premises in?

Wrap around case packer with race track indeed

With the ever increasing demands of the retailers looking for parity across their brands, it’s important you receive the most up to date advice. Smurfit Kappa Machine Systems, with links to the retailers, are well placed to offer this advice with the knowledge of the latest trends.

Moving from a manual packaging process to an automated solution gives your business the opportunity to rationalise you packaging formats and reduce labour costs, providing bespoke case packing machinery for your product. We can help you in offering your customers exciting new packaging solutions. We want to help you in being more efficient and competitive than your competitors. SKMS provide some of the world’s most well-known brands with world class case packer solutions.



Why not contact us and start your journey to future proof your position in the market place today. Smurfit Kappa Machine Systems +44 (0)1454 328660.

Categories: Smurfit Kappa Machine Systems News


Smurfit Kappa reveals future packaging trends

Smurfit Kappa recently welcomed more than 180 of its high profile Pan-European and American customers to its Innovation Event. Under the theme of ‘The Future Unpacked’, visitors were treated to the latest insights and developments along with expected future trends in the paper-based packaging industry.

Exhibiting its innovations in design and sustainability, Smurfit Kappa also revealed new technologies such as online printing, augmented reality and e-commerce and how they expect these will impact the packaging industry in the future.

A highlight of this year’s event was the 3D Store Visualiser, a technological advancement that allows customers to analyse and optimise packaging performance virtually, enhancing the shopper experience. The Store Visualiser gives access to thousands of interchangeable optimisation scenarios, pictures, movies and live demos of segment brands and customer specific packaging options to face their on-shelf challenge. All of these options are projected on a giant 4.5 by 2.5 metre high resolution screen.

Three international speakers shared their vision on trends in the social environment, sustainability and printing, enhancing the understanding of Smurfit Kappa’s customers on the future of packaging so that they can reap the benefits in their individual markets.

Machine erect shelf ready packaging

Machine erect shelf ready packaging

The Innovation Event, held on a regular basis, is organised by Smurfit Kappa to honour excellence in packaging design and sustainability. The company’s customers form two juries which judge entries from designers and sustainability teams, with the event culminating in a final dinner and awards ceremony.

Many of those present at this year’s event remarked that they found it both inspirational and useful. “Getting a glimpse in to so many insights in the packaging industry was definitely worthwhile and I will be taking this knowledge back to my market”, said one. “I was very impressed with the displays of Smurfit Kappa’s new developments and am looking forward to seeing more in the future,” commented another.

Tony Smurfit, COO of Smurfit Kappa said: “These Innovation Events are all about our customers and their market. We strive to present them with future developments and show how we can help them face challenges. Our passion drives our promise: supporting customers to be winners in the marketplace, now and in the future.”

Smurfit Kappa is one of the leading producers of paper-based packaging in the world, with around 41,000 employees in approximately 350 production sites across 32 countries and with a sales revenue of €7.3 bn in 2012.

Innovation, service and pro-activity towards customers, using sustainable resources, is our primary focus. This focus is enhanced through us being an integrated producer, with our packaging plants sourcing the major part of their raw materials from our own paper mills.

We are the European leader in paper-based packaging, operating in 21 countries selling products including corrugated, containerboard, bag-in-box, solidboard and solidboard packaging. We have a growing base in Eastern Europe in many of these product areas. We also have a key position in other product/market segments including graphicboard, MG paper sack paper and bespoke machine systems.

We are the only large scale pan regional player in the Americas, operating in 11 countries in total in North, Central and South America.

Categories: Smurfit Kappa Machine Systems News


Smurfit Kappa Machine Systems invest once again in the future of packaging engineering

Electrical Engineering Apprenticeship  program

Jack and Calvin being instructed by Ben Wiltshire, himself a successful graduate of the Smurfit Kappa Apprenticeship scheme.

Smurfit Kappa are pleased to welcome the latest intake into their successful Electrical Engineering Apprenticeship  program based at Yate, near Bristol – Calvin Freame and Jack Hawkins.


SKMS General Manager, Matt Weeks, emphasises the importance of investing in apprentices for the future of the business.


“With our apprentice scheme we inject new blood and ideas into our business . Our apprentices study at City of Bristol College training in the latest engineering techniques and technologies enabling us to stay in front of the latest ideas and technology. Our experience has shown many benefits in continuing with the apprentice schemes , including; a better fit within the organisation; greater overall productivity;  better health and safety performance and  better relations with customers. The company will encourage everyone to train to the highest levels possible.”


Smurfit Kappa Machine Systems are a World Class Manufacturer of Case Packing Systems and a division of the Smurfit Kappa Group. The Group, with an annual turnover of 7.4 billion euros, is a committed investor in the future.

Categories: Smurfit Kappa Machine Systems News


Smurfit Kappa Towers over the Legends of Rock at Glastonbury

Smurfit Kappa Towers over the Legends of Rock at Glastonbury


The Rolling Stones may have hit the headlines at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, but one act towered over and even outshone Mick Jagger. French artist Olivier Grossetête’s giant cardboard tower at over 18 metres in height was the main feature of the festival’s Theatre and Circus area and was built completely from Smurfit Kappa’s corrugated boxes.


Based on the iconic Glastonbury Tor, the tower was constructed with the aid of festival-goers young and old over the whole festival weekend under the instruction of M. Grossetête. The tower is a progression of his 2012 ‘roofless’ programme first seen in Ayrshire at the Burns an’ a’ that! Festival, and in Glasgow at the Merchant City Festival, that also used Smurfit Kappa boxes. The ‘roofless’ street art towers that Olivier will build in the UK will all be rebuilt as part of a cardboard city he is creating in Marseilles in September 2013.


1600 corrugated boxes were manufactured by Smurfit Kappa Barnstaple from BC twin wall, Kraft exterior corrugated board, each measuring 480 x 240 x 960mm. The boxes were supplied to Glasgow based organisers UZ Arts ( who presented Olivier and InSitu the pan-European network that originally commissioned the project with support from The Arts Council of England.


30-year-old   Olivier specialises in monumental sculptures constructed from everyday materials that provoke his audiences to reconsider the complexity and beauty of materials taken out of their intended practical context.


Patrick Sweeney General Manager of Smurfit Kappa Barnstaple, commented “ If rock and roll is King, then corrugated is definitely the castle, the Tor Tower Olivier and the fans built was stunningly beautiful, immensely strong, and in keeping with  Glastonbury’s sustainable positioning, can of course be recycled in the normal waste recovery stream. It’s not often that corrugated boxes leave you lost for words but in Mick Jagger’s own words if you can’t get ‘No satisfaction’ then this is proof that Smurfit Kappa can build a solution to suit even the most unusual request’.  Thus ‘giving satisfaction!’


Smurfit Kappa Towers over the Legends of Rock at Glastonbury

Smurfit Kappa Towers over the Legends of Rock at Glastonbury


French artist Olivier Grossetête’s giant cardboard tower which was the main feature of the Glastonbury festival’s Theatre and Circus area, built completely from Smurfit Kappa’s corrugated boxes.


Based on the iconic Glastonbury Tor, the tower was constructed with the aid of festival-goers young and old over the whole festival weekend under the instruction of M. Grossetête.


Categories: Smurfit Kappa Machine Systems News


The Total Processing and Packaging Exhibition 2013 Stand B38

Smurfit Kappa Machine Systems, based in Bristol, are pleased to be exhibiting at this year’s Total Processing and Packaging Exhibition. As part of the Smurfit Kappa Group – the world’s leading specialist in corrugated packaging, we are perfectly placed to supply your end of line case packing and erecting equipment.

In addition to designing and manufacturing our own range of wraparound case and tray packing systems, we are pleased to represent Lantech in the UK. Specialists in the design and manufacture of case erectors to suit most applications, the machines operate at between 8 to 25 cases per minute, using either tape or hot melt adhesive to seal the base. Available as handed machines, we will be demonstrating a C400 automatic case erector on the stand.

We hold a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise that places our team in the strong and unique position. Combining technical expertise and innovation with an unsurpassed knowledge of the corrugated industry, we are able to guarantee that all equipment supplied will optimise your end of line function, and all supported by our own team of service engineers.

We look forward to meeting you on our stand, and offering you our help and support in satisfying your end of line requirements.

Total Processing and Packaging Exhibition Smurfit Kappa Machine Systems

Total Processing and Packaging Exhibition Smurfit Kappa Machine Systems

Categories: Smurfit Kappa Machine Systems News