- Packaging company Smurfit Kappa posted an 8% rise in first-half profit as higher volumes and price increases offset a rise input costs.

The company also announced that it had agreed to acquire Italian containerboard business Verzuolo for €360 million.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through June increased to €413 million, up from €383 million year-on-year, as revenue climbed 11% to €4.68 billion.

Smurfit Kappa declared an interim dividend of 29.3p per share, up 5% year-on-year.

'The second half has continued the trend of strong demand and corrugated price recovery,' chief executive Tony Smurfit said.

'Smurfit Kappa remains very confident in our prospects and excited about the opportunities for our business.'

'Our first half performance has established a platform for strong and accelerated earnings growth through the remainder of 2021.'

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