Packaging and paper group Mondi has generated an underlying EBITDA of €351 million from continuing operations in the first quarter of its financial year.
The figure is broadly flat when compared to the fourth quarter of 2022, the company said, excluding a non-cash forestry fair value gain.
The company said in a trading update that the quarter was characterised by lower average selling prices and softer demand – driven in part by destocking – and lower input costs from the highs seen in the second half of 2022.
Mondi added that while wood prices remained high in the first quarter, these have now started to reduce.
The financial results suggest corrugated packaging saw softer demand, driven partly by destocking and lower prices compared to the fourth quarter of 2022.
Additionally, Mondi noted that flexible packaging delivered a stable performance compared to the fourth quarter of 2022, with weaker industry demand and modestly lower prices being offset by falling input costs.
“We have seen a stable performance in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the final quarter of last year, with good pricing resilience from flexible packaging," said Andrew King, chief executive officer at Mondi.
King added that so far in the second quarter, demand "remains subdued with lower average selling prices and further input cost reduction across the business. We continue to invest in the future growth of Mondi and we are making good progress in executing on our pipeline of expansionary capital projects."
Underlying EBITDA from Mondi's Russian operations in the first quarter amounted to €123 million.
Mondi is collaborating with Augment Investments Limited for the proposed acquisition of Syktyvkar, and the Gotek Group for the prospective acquisition of the three Russian packaging converting plants.