DUBLIN, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Europe's largest paper packaging producer Smurfit Kappa said the decline in box demand continued to slow in the third quarter as it forecast that full-year core profit would fall by almost 13% to around 2.05 billion euros ($2.17 billion).

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 8% in the first nine months of the year, Smurfit said in a trading update on Wednesday, as a rise in its EBITDA margin to 19.0% from 18.2% a year ago failed to offset a fall in volumes.

However box demand in the third quarter was around 2% behind 2022 levels versus -7% and -5% in the first and second quarters, respectively.

The Irish group, which benefited from a boom in demand for packaging goods and e-commerce during COVID-19 lockdowns, said it expected this trend to continue, with Germany in particular showing improved order books.

Smurfit agreed an $11 billion deal in September to buy U.S. rival WestRock and create the world's biggest paper packaging company. ($1 = 0.9460 euros) (Reporting by Padraic Halpin, Editing by Louise Heavens)