Ball Reports Improved First Quarter Results
Ball Corporation reported first quarter net earnings attributable to the company of $ 88.3 million, or 55 cents per…
Ball Corporation reported first quarter net earnings attributable to the company of $ 88.3 million, or 55 cents per diluted share, on sales of $ 2.0 billion, compared to $ 91.3 million, or 53 cents per diluted share, on sales of $ 2.0 billion in the first quarter of 2011. Comparable earnings per share were 63 cents, an increase of nearly 9 percent over 2011 first quarter results of 58 cents.
"Ball Corporation's improved results during the seasonally slow first quarter reflect the execution of our Drive for 10 strategy, and were driven by strong performance in our aerospace and Europe segments, continued growth in our specialty beverage packaging business in multiple markets and a lower tax rate," said John A. Hayes, president and chief executive officer.
"During the quarter we broadened our geographic reach, completing construction of new plants in Brazil, China and Vietnam," said Raymond J. Seabrook, executive vice president and chief operating officer, global packaging. "We are beginning to see signs of customer promotional activity ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games in London and the European soccer championship later this year, and we continue to focus on maximizing value in our existing businesses through increasing efficiencies."
Metal Beverage Packaging, Americas & Asia
Metal beverage packaging, Americas and Asia, comparable segment operating earnings were $ 105.5 million in the first quarter on sales of $ 1 billion, compared to $ 115.6 million on sales of $ 1 billion in the first quarter of 2011.
Increased demand for specialty packaging in the U.S., especially for Ball's Alumi-Tek® bottle and specialty sizes including 7.5-ounce cans, partially offset lower than expected volumes in Brazil and a slower start to the year in China. Volumes in Brazil and China are expected to grow significantly in 2012 as new plants begin to supply market demand.
Metal Beverage Packaging, Europe
Metal beverage packaging, Europe, comparable segment results in the quarter were operating earnings of $ 53.7 million on sales of $ 463 million, compared to $ 53.1 million on sales of $ 443 million in 2011.
Increased demand in western and eastern Europe drove mid single-digit volume growth for beverage cans and double-digit volume growth for extruded aluminum packaging. The previously announced relocation of Ball's European headquarters from Germany to Switzerland is on schedule and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2012. The new location in Zurich will centralize management functions and align more closely with customers and suppliers.
Ball Corporation is a supplier of high quality packaging for beverage, food and household products customers, and of aerospace and other technologies and services, primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ approximately 14,500 people worldwide and reported 2011 sales of more than $8.6 billion.