Ball report strong third quarter results
Ball Corporation reported third quarter 2021 net earnings attributable to the corporation of $179 million (including net after-tax charges of $134 million, or 40 cents per diluted share for business consolidation and other non-comparable items), or 54 cents per diluted share, on sales of $3.6 billion.
This is compared to $241 million net earnings attributable to the corporation, or 72 cents per diluted share (including net after-tax charges of $56 million, or 17 cents per diluted share for business consolidation and other non-comparable items), on sales of $3.1 billion in 2020.
Results for the first nine months of 2021 were net earnings attributable to the corporation of $581 million, or $1.75 per diluted share, on sales of $10.1 billion compared to $358 million, or $1.08 per diluted share, on sales of $8.7 billion for the first nine months of 2020.
Ball’s third quarter and year-to-date 2021 comparable earnings per diluted share were 94 cents and $2.52, respectively, versus third quarter and year-to-date 2020 comparable earnings per diluted share of 89 cents and $2.15, respectively.
John A. Hayes, chairman and chief executive officer, said: “During the quarter, the company increased comparable earnings per diluted share by 6%, managed numerous supply chain inefficiencies and continued to hire and position talent to support multi-year growth initiatives.
“Underlying demand for our sustainable aluminium packaging portfolio and aerospace technologies continues to outstrip supply, and our various growth projects around the world are supported by long-term contracts for committed volume with effective cost recovery mechanisms.
“Coupled with the successful startup of these new facilities, we are well positioned to meaningfully grow our long-term diluted earnings per share, EVA dollars, cash from operations and return significant value to our shareholders over time in the form of dividends and share repurchases.”
Daniel W. Fisher, president, said: “Positive momentum continues across the entire company despite unprecedented impacts to our customers’ and suppliers’ supply chains. Our focus remains on our employees’ safety, training and development, and delivering EVA-enhancing returns on capital through profitably supporting our customers’ growth as they increasingly focus on the circularity of their products.”
Beverage Packaging, North and Central America
Beverage packaging, North and Central America, comparable segment operating earnings for the third quarter 2021 were $186 million on sales of $1.5 billion compared to $209 million on sales of $1.3 billion in 2020.
For the first nine months, comparable segment operating earnings were $519 million on sales of $4.3 billion compared to $544 million on sales of $3.8 billion during the same period in 2020. Year-over-year sales reflect higher shipments, the contractual pass through of higher aluminium costs and improved price/mix.
Third quarter comparable segment earnings reflect 1% volume growth, the benefits from new contractual terms and specialty mix more than offset by the impact of low finished goods inventory throughout the quarter, startup costs associated with three new manufacturing plants and timing of contractual non-aluminium input cost recovery.
In advance of new capacity being ramped to production speeds and annual contractual provisions recover non-aluminium inflationary costs, operational impacts and inefficiencies are expected to persist through the end of the year.
Demand for aluminium beverage packaging continues to outstrip supply across North America. The company’s new Glendale, Arizona, facility successfully started up its fourth line during the quarter, and the new Pittston, Pennsylvania, facility started up its third beverage can production line late in the third quarter.
Project execution is on target and recently announced additional capacity investments in Nevada and North Carolina will serve long-term committed volume with global and regional strategic customers serving all beverage categories.
The company’s new aluminium end manufacturing facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky, recently started production and full-year 2021 startup costs are still anticipated to be in the range of $50 million.
Beverage Packaging, EMEA
Beverage packaging, EMEA, comparable segment operating earnings for third quarter were $125 million on sales of $937 million compared to $117 million on sales of $809 million in 2020.
For the first nine months, comparable segment operating earnings were $349 million on sales of $2.6 billion compared to $248 million on sales of $2.2 billion during the same period in 2020. Year-over-year sales reflect higher shipments and the contractual pass through of higher aluminium costs.
Third quarter comparable segment earnings reflect 4% segment volume growth, higher specialty mix and strong year-over-year consumption trends across Europe.
Packaging mix shift to sustainable aluminium cans continues, and demand is outstripping supply. Intermittent supply chain disruptions across the region were effectively managed during the quarter.
Contractual provisions and management practices are also in place to minimise potential impacts during the current escalating cost environment.
Line speed ups and greenfield projects in the U.K., Russia and Czech Republic supported by long-term contracts are on track and will enable growing demand for aluminium beverage cans in 2021 and beyond.
Beverage Packaging, South America
Beverage packaging, South America, comparable segment operating earnings for third quarter were $74 million on sales of $462 million compared to $64 million on sales of $432 million in 2020.
For the first nine months, comparable segment operating earnings were $245 million on sales of $1.4 billion compared to $173 million on sales of $1.2 billion during the same period in 2020.
Year-over-year third quarter sales reflect the contractual pass through of higher aluminium costs offset by lower shipments.
Segment volume ended the quarter down 18% compared to significantly higher third quarter 2020 volumes, which were up 30% versus the third quarter of 2019 due to timing effects related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Third quarter 2021 earnings reflect favourable price/mix and solid operating performance offset by unfavourable weather in July and August across South America.
In Brazil, underlying demand remains strong and customer demand inflected upward in September and is expected to be strong throughout the busy fourth quarter summer selling season.
To support long-term contracted volume growth and can-filling investments across South America, the previously announced multi-line facility in Frutal, Brazil, recently began production and additional investments across our existing South American footprint continue.