Smurfit Kappa pre-tax profit rises to €243m
Profits before income tax at Irish paper and packaging giant Smurfit Kappa rose by 7pc to €243m in the six month period to the end of June.
This compared to a profit before income tax of €228m for the same period in 2014.
According to the company's half year results sales also increased marginally, edging up from €3.95bn in the first six months of 2014 to about €4bn.
Earnings before deductions were down slightly, decreasing from €564m to €551m while earnings per share jumped by 17pc from 62.3 cent to 73.2.
The company is also increasing its 2015 interim dividend by 30pc to 20 cent per share. It is proposed to pay the interim dividend at the end of October.
Chief executive Gary McGann said: “In the first half of the year the group delivered EPS growth, underpinned by good underlying business conditions, significantly reduced long-term funding costs and the earnings impact of capital investments, acquisitions and efficiency programmes completed within the last twelve months.
“European corrugated packaging volumes have remained strong, delivering volume growth of over 4pc in the first half of 2015. As a consequence of this consistently good growth, a balanced supply/demand environment and upward pressure in recovered paper prices, the European containerboard market has continued to tighten.
“The group’s operations in the Americas are performing well and the integration of the recently acquired corrugated packaging businesses in the US, Central America, Colombia and Dominican Republic is progressing as planned."