Standard and Poor’s has raised its rating on Irish paper and packaging producer Smurfit Kappa from BB to BB+.

The ratings agency said it anticipated the company’s performance to remain robust this year, due to lower interest costs and “the group’s focus on sustaining stable debt levels”.

Standard and Poor’s said its stable outlook was based on Smurfit Kappa’s improving profitability, its strong market position in Europe and Latin America, as well as its “strong diversification both geographically and by customer”.