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VPK Group continues to build on its growth strategy

VPK Group continued to build on its solid long-term vision in 2019, of which sustainable growth and well-considered investments are an integral part of the strategy. The results of 2019 provide insight into a number of noteworthy investment projects that support the additional geographical expansion and the improvement and expansion of our product range within the packaging market.

An overview of the most important milestones

  • In 2018, the construction of one of the most technologically advanced sites in the world started in Halden, Norway. The ultramodern site was put into use at the start of 2020. While the site in Halden is a great example of technology, its production facility is also completely CO2-neutral through the use of biogas for steam production and the heating of the building. This means that we are producing fully circular packaging solutions made from 100% renewable raw materials.
  • In 2019, Corex, VPK Group's tubular division, further expanded through the acquisition of Corenso's European and Chinese divisions. Corex and Corenso together have 29 production sites, including 2 paper mills in France and Finland. Thanks to the acquisition, VPK gained presence in important new markets where we were not yet present and can now meet the worldwide demand for cardboard tubes. As a result of the acquisition, the entire tube division assumes 16% of the total turnover of VPK Group.
  • In the first half of 2020, VPK Group acquired a majority stake in CorrBoard UK Ltd, an independent consortium-owned corrugated board supplier in Scunthorpe, UK. CorrBoard will continue to operate as a separate business unit with its own specific business strategy. The investment enables VPK to continue to offer a competitive product range and service in the UK market. Here, too, the production of corrugated board is completely CO2-neutral thanks to CorrBoard’s bioenergy power plant located right next to the production site. This power plant converts no less than 25,000 tons of organic waste into 6,400 MWh of energy per year, or more than 1.5 times the annual energy requirement required by the CorrBoard site.
  • Viallon Emballages and VPK Group reached a mutual agreement in May 2020, whereby VPK acquired a majority share. This new investment means a further strategic expansion of VPK's European network in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region and, at the same time, an expansion of the product and service offering within the corrugated board division. Together with Viallon Emballages, we are again one step closer to our international customers.

VPK Group's consolidated financial statements in million euros*

2019 2018 delta
Operating Income 1.362 1.279 +6,5%
REBITDA 175 140 +25%
Net profit after tax 78 46 +69,6%
Net financial debt 250 163
Investments 118 96
*Joint Ventures included proportionally

2020: a year with an unexpected turning point

In addition to previously mentioned important investments, 2020 will be remembered as the year in which the global COVID-19 crisis hit.

As for many companies, the recent months have been challenging for VPK Group, in which we as a company had to find a new path and anticipate the ever-changing market demand as a result of the evolving corona crisis. Meanwhile, a second wave is building up in most of Europe and we are unable to predict what the coming months will bring.

Similarly as during the first wave, we will continue to take the necessary preventive measures with regard to hygiene and social distancing within the VPK Group. It is vital to us that our employees can continue to work in the safest conditions possible, to prevent the further spread of the virus and to continue to play our critical role in the supply chain.

What does the future hold?

Despite much uncertainty in the short-term, VPK Group is continuing to build on its long-term strategy.

In the coming years, we aim to pursue the healthy growth of our company, taking into account all stakeholders, while operating in a responsible manner to keep our ecological footprint as small as possible.

On the one hand we carry on with broadening and optimising our packaging range by proactively responding to the changing society. On the other hand, we continue to focus on our international presence and geographical expansion so we can ensure we meet the growing needs of our customers.