DUBLIN, Ireland, Jan 22, 2015 (Press Release) -
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).