Packaging giant Smurfit Kappa has seen broad-based economic recovery across Europe despite continuing political tensions in the region, according to chief executive Gary McGann.
The company's shares jumped yesterday as second-quarter earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation declined 3% to €285m (£200m).
The figure was better than expectations. The company - which has operations in Newtownabbey and Craigavon - boosted its interim dividend by 30%.
"We're beginning to get the benefits of some of the investments and actions we've taken," Mr McGann said.
"The general recovery in Europe is definitely under way," he said. "We've got a lot of positives at the moment."
"Clearly, there are pockets of pain all over the place," he added, referring to events such as those in Greece, "but we're definitely seeing recoveries. Obviously, one needs to be minded of the fact that the heart of the improvement in Europe is quantitative easing and the relative value of the currency. There's still a lot of work to be done to improve European competitiveness."
Revenue at Smurfit Kappa edged 1pc higher to €2.03bn during the second quarter, while earnings per share rose 26pc.