LONDON (TheDeal) -- European stocks rebounded on Wednesday, as euro-area growth gathered pace in the first quarter and as investors toasted strong earnings from companies including brewer SABMiller (SBMRY) and packaging and paper producer Mondi (MONDY).
France's CAC 40 took center stage among the region's benchmark indices, climbing 1.10% to 5,029.16. The FTSE 100 gained 0.48% to 6,967.04 in London, and the DAX advanced 0.59% to 6,967.04 in Frankfurt.
The pre-holiday buying spree comes a day before most continental markets take a break for Thursday's Ascension Day holiday.
Preliminary figures released by Eurostat showed that adjusted GDP rose 0.4% in both the eurozone and the 28-nation European Union, compared to 0.3% and 0.4%, respectively, in the fourth quarter, with French and Italian growth gathering pace as Germany's recovery lost some steam and Greece slipped back into recession.
In London, Mondi climbed 10.86% as investors welcomed a 29% rise in first-quarter underlying profit. Earnings rose to €236 million from €183 million.
The company attributed the increase to volume growth and lower input costs across Europe, good contributions from capital projects and acquisitions, notably in the U.S., and higher selling prices in Russia and South Africa.
SABMiller, the world's second-largest brewer after Anheuser Busch Inbev (BUD), was also up on better-than-expected earnings. The stock climbed 2.44% after posting adjusted EBITDA of $6.37 billion in the year that ended March 31, above the $6.23 billion consensus forecast. However, the company said it expects a "challenging" trading environment in the year ahead amid currency volatility and increasing raw material prices.