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South Africa-based packaging group Nampak has recorded a 18% rise in first-half (H1) profit driven by by a strong performance from its European and sub-Saharan operations.

Nampak said its headline earnings per share (EPS) totalled 94.6 cents in the six months to end-March compared with 76.7 cents a year earlier. The firm said closing assets that are up for sale, headline EPS increased 28% to 93.5 cents.

The packaging company’s revenue was flat at $1.14bn due to lower demand in South African countered strong performance in Europe and the rest of the continent.

Nampak, which raised its dividend by 36% to 34 cents, said it expected little improvement from its South African business.

Nampak CEO Andrew Marshall said the firm has sold or closed most of the underperforming businesses and have focused on growing its core profitable operations.