North American supplier of general line rigid containers, BWAY has reported a 3.2% rise in net sales to $248.4m for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 compared to $240.7m in the same period last year.

The company attributed the growth to the acquisition of Phoenix Container, completed during the first quarter of fiscal 2011, and higher selling prices.

BWAY has reported a rise in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $29m for the quarter compared to $16.8m in the previous year.

According to the company, improved performance in plastic and metal packaging segments helped its growth in EBITDA.

Gross margin for the quarter excluding depreciation and amortisation stood at $34m compared to $22m for the same period last year.

This was primarily due to higher selling prices, improved results from recent acquisitions and continued realisation of synergies, including the closure of two plastic manufacturing facilities, a reduction in overheads, and purchasing efficiencies.

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Net loss for the quarter stood at $2.9m compared to a net loss of $10.7m for the first quarter last year due to the improvement in gross margin and other items.

Sales for the company’s metal packaging segment during the quarter increased to $153.8m against $144.7m, while the plastic packaging segment reported sales of $94.6m compared to $96m for the year-earlier period.