- Multinational packaging and paper group, Mondi, has had a 'robust' first quarter of 2021, fuelled by its sustainable packaging solutions, and higher average containerboard selling prices

In a trading statement, the company said its underlying EBITDA for the first quarter was in line with expectations at €353 million.

This figure is down 8% compared to the prior year period at €385 million, while up 14% on a sequential basis (Q4 2020: €309 million).

It added that good cash generation resulted in lower net debt at the end of the quarter.

The new 300,000 tonne per annum kraft top white machine at Ruzomberok (Slovakia) and the converted speciality kraft paper machine at Steti (Czech Republic), both commissioned in January 2021, are also ramping up successfully, according to the group.

Demand in corrugated packaging remains very strong, driven by growth in e-commerce, fast moving consumer goods and recovery in a range of industrial applications. On the back of tight global markets, Mondi implemented a series of price increases across its containerboard grades during the quarter and into the second quarter.

Corrugated Solutions performed strongly, growing volumes significantly while making good progress in passing on higher input paper costs.

There was also good volumes in flexible packaging with resilient construction end-uses and strong demand for at-home consumption, sustainable packaging and e-commerce solutions.

As expected, Engineered Materials’ performance was stable. Capital investment projects and restructuring initiatives are progressing according to plan, with improved demand for functional papers and films already evident.

Earlier in the year, Mondi launched its 10-year sustainability plan, MAP2030, and is developing 'bespoke roadmaps across the business' to achieve the commitments on circular-driven solutions, empowered people and climate action.

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