SHARES in Smurfit Kappa Group rose sharply today, after the company reported strong first quarter results.
The packaging giant saw profits margins fall, but retained its profit forecasts for the year, boosting confidence in the firm.
For the forst quarter, SKG said pre-tax profits fell 43pc to €57m on revenues of €1.9bn – up slightly on the same period in 2012.
Margins slid to 12.7pc from 13.4pc.
Company chief executive Gary McGann was pleased with is company’s start to the year.
“The Group has seen a strong increase in demand with European box volumes up 4pc on the same period last year when adjusted for two fewer working days in the first quarter. This has been achieved despite continued macroeconomic weakness throughout most of Europe, and bears testament to the Group’s focus on high quality, innovative packaging solutions,” he said.
SKG had warned previously that prices for some of its products would fall this year, but paper price increases and a “good inventory position across Europe are creating an environment for corrugated price recovery in the second half of 2013”, said Mr McGann.
By lunchtime shares in the company were up more than 6pc at €11.87. The stock has almost doubled in the past year.