Smurfit Kappa has reported pre-tax profits of €190m for the six months to the end of June, a 39% increase on the same time last year.

Revenues for the six month period edged higher from €3.670 billion to €3.680 billion, while basic earnings per share jumped 65% to 51.6 cent from 31.3 cent.

The packaging group said it will pay an interim dividend of 7.50 cent per share.

It said its performance was underpinned by the strength of its integrated model, relatively stable box prices and a continuing focus on cost cutting.

The company's Latin American business continues to provide the company with geographic diversity and good growth prospects, it added.

The company said it has managed to reduce its net debt by over 500m in the last two years.

Chief executive Gary McGann said that while macro-economic risks remain, the company continues to expect a full year EBITDA result similar to that of 2011.

''Our free cash flow generation will accelerate in the second half, thereby further expanding our available range of strategic and financial options. Our aim is to continue expanding our position as the industry leader in corrugated,'' he added.

Europe's leading containerboard and corrugated packaging producer has been recovering from low prices reached in a recession that hit demand for consumer products but has been put under fresh pressure by the rising cost of raw materials.

It responded to the higher input costs by introducing a €150m cost-cutting plan in 2010 and has delivered €145m, it said in its results statement today. It expects to deliver an addition €50m for the remainder of the year, beating its initial target, it added.