Higher average selling prices, contribution from recent acquisitions, expansion projects, as well as lower planned maintenance shut costs, boosted packaging and paper group Mondi Plc’s performance in the first quarter to end-March. The group, which is listed in London and Johannesburg, said underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) rose 16% to €471m in the quarter. Mondi, a manufacturer and seller of packaging and paper products, said selling prices for its key paper grades were, on average, higher compared to the same period in 2018, while, on a like-for-like basis, sales volumes were marginally lower. It said on Thursday that costs in the first quarter were marginally higher than the comparative prior year and flat compared to the previous quarter. The company said among the key input costs, wood, energy and chemical costs were higher than the previous comparable period. However, it said inflationary cost pressures were mitigated by cost-cont...

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