Packaging company DS Smith posted a higher first-half pretax profit, helped by an acquisition and improved volumes, and said it was confident of the rest of the year.

The company, which bought French packaging firm Otor, now DS Smith Packaging France, in September last year, said revenue at its Continental European Corrugated Packaging business rose 56 percent, reflecting the inclusion of the Otor business.

For the six months to October 31, pretax profit rose to 42.8 million pounds from 35.6 million pounds last year.

Revenue rose 26 percent to 1.03 billion pounds.

The company, which ended the period with net debt of 312.9 million pounds, down from 351 million pounds a year ago, raised its interim dividend by 40 percent to 2.8 pence per share.

Shares of DS Smith, which have risen about 7 percent over the last year, closed at 199 pence on Tuesday on the London Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Suzannah Benjamin in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)