Packaging giant Essentra counts cost of Hurricane Maria

Packaging giant Essentra counts cost of Hurricane MariaPackaging company Essentra will lose up to £750,000 a week because of the damage caused by Hurricane Maria to its plants in Puerto Rico. The FTSE 250 business said that while two plants in the Caribbean island had not suffered significant damage, they have been out of action since September 19. Essentra said it is “focusing its effort” on ensuring the safety of its 345 employees in Puerto Rico and that it is not sure when production will restart, adding this is “unlikely to be in the immediate future”. Essentra share price As well as staff focusing on their own safety, Essentra said its sites at Manati and Guaynabo and which supply health and personal care packaging faced further problems such as power supplies and general disruption to infrastructure. Essentra is expected to take a revenue hit of between £500,000 and £750,000 per week until normal production resumes, though the business said it expects to recover much of this through its insurance. This is not the first impact hurricane season has has on Essentra. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma affected the company’s sites in Houston, Largo and Puerto Rico, and Essentra estimates the profit impact from these previous storms to be in the range of £500,000 to £1m. In its last financial year reported a £63m pre-tax loss on sales of £1.1.bn. Paul Forman, chief executive, said: "Our experienced local team was very well prepared for the hurricane strike, and has done an excellent job of managing events to date, thanks to their tireless efforts and commitment. “With communications in Puerto Rico remaining sporadic, our ongoing priority is confirming the safety of all our employees and on providing them with whatever assistance we can, including the shipment of emergency provisions as soon as ports and the airport reopen.” He added Essentra was keeping customers – most of whom has suffered similar disruption because of the hurricanes – informed on progress, and said business continuity plans to transfer orders to facilities in mainland United States and beyond had ben put in place.



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