(Updates with closing share price in second paragraph.)
Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Mondi Group, Europe’s largest maker of office paper, rose to a 6 1/2-month high after saying underlying operating profit in 2011 gained “considerably.”
Mondi jumped 3.7 percent to 67.43 rand at the close in Johannesburg, the highest price since July 27. The stock has climbed 18 percent this year, compared with a 6.7 percent gain in the broader FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index.
Earnings per share excluding one-time items increased to within a range of 67 euro cents to 72 cents, compared with 47 cents a year earlier, Johannesburg-based Mondi said in a statement today. The median estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg is for adjusted earnings per share of 66 cents.
“This is a material improvement,” Mohamed Kharva, an analyst at Nedgroup Securities Ltd., said by phone from Cape Town. “Analysts were adjusting for a weaker fourth quarter and that didn’t happen.”
The papermaker is scheduled to release detailed earnings figures for 2011 on Feb. 23.
Mondi said in a separate statement that the Arbitration Court of the National Chamber of Commerce in Poland has cleared the way for the purchase of Saturn Management Sp. z o.o (SM) by its Mondi Swiecie SA unit.
--Editors: Tom Lavell, Vernon Wessels
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