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Over the past decade, Mondi’s strategic focus has been on building capacity, driving efficiency and making well-executed acquisitions. The strategy is paying off for the €7.5bn annual revenue paper packaging group. Mondi showed its form in its half-year to June, roaring in with pretax profit up 29% at €590m, and EPS up 26%. "It was a phenomenal performance," says Ricco Friedrich of Denker Capital. "There is little you can fault [the company] on." Mondi’s profitability also continued to improve in the half-year. Reflecting this, return on capital, at a solid 21.3%, was up from 18.5% in the previous half-year. This figure was just 7.6% at the time of Mondi’s unbundling by Anglo American in 2007. Rising returns on capital enabled Mondi to buck the negative market conditions that prevailed until very recently. The group’s operating profit grew 8% a year and dividends 15% a year between 2013 and 2017. A long-awaited economic upturn in Europe, a region crucial to Mondi’s performance, is a...

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