RockTenn, US manufacturer of corrugated and consumer packaging and recycling solutions, has reported net sales of $2.26bn in the first quarter of 2012, an increase of $1.5bn year-on-year.

The company attributed the growth primarily to the May 2011 acquisition of Smurfit-Stone, however the its earnings were lower than in the previous quarter due to the combination of normal seasonal volume and mix trends, major maintenance outage expenses, as well as competitive export containerboard and domestic box markets.

In the quarter, the firm produced nearly 2.28 million tonnes of containerboard and paperboard, an increase of 1.7 million tonnes over the prior year quarter, and a sequential decrease of 106,000t.

Net sales in the corrugated packaging segment increased by $1.32bn to $1.52bn in the quarter compared to the previous year.

The segment’s income increased to $109.7m, compared to $37.4m in the same quarter in 2011 and the segment’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) margin stood at 13.9% for the period.

During the time frame, consumer packaging segment net sales rose by $75.9m, due to increased display sales including those from the Smurfit-Stone deal and higher selling prices throughout the segment.

The market’s income stood at $80.3m in the quarter against $71m last year, due to income from the acquired display facilities, as well as higher selling prices that were partially offset by higher recycled fibre, chemical and freight costs.

According to RockTenn, the segment’s EBITDA margin stood at 16.8% for the quarter.

Net sales in the recycling and waste solutions segment increased $287.5m year-on-year to $329.4m, also due to the Smurfit-Stone acquisition, and the segment’s income consolidated at $3.5m compared to $2.3m in 2011.