Ball reports strong Q4 and full-year 2021 results
Ball Corporation reported its Q4 and full-year 2021 results on Thursday.
The company’s earnings totalled $297 million in Q4, or $0.90 per share. This compares with $227 million, or $0.68 per share, in the same period last year.
Net earnings attributable to the corporation for the full-year was $878 million, or $2.65 per diluted share, on sales of $13.8 billion, compared to $585 million net earnings attributable to the corporation on sales of $11.8 billion in 2020.
Ball’s full-year 2021 comparable net earnings were $1.16 billion, or $3.49 per diluted share compared to $987 million, or $2.97 per diluted share in 2020.
John A. Hayes, chairman and chief executive officer, said: “We delivered a strong finish to 2021 and returned approximately $950 million to shareholders after deploying $1.7 billion of capital expenditures to support our growth during the year.
Underlying demand for Ball’s sustainable aluminium packaging portfolio and innovative aerospace technologies continues to outpace supply.
“Our teams executed at a high level to complete significant capital projects on time and on budget to serve accelerating customer demand in 2022 and beyond.
“During the fourth quarter, the company increased comparable earnings per diluted share by 20 percent compared to fourth quarter 2020, initiated additional cost recovery mechanisms and continued to hire talent and build back finished goods inventory to position the company for long-term growth despite challenges associated with the pandemic, natural disasters and global supply chain disruptions.”
Daniel W. Fisher, president, said: “Our focus remains on our employees’ safety, mental well-being, training and development, generating EVA-enhancing returns on capital and delivering sustainable innovative products and technologies to our customers.
“Driven by our Drive for 10 vision, EVA discipline, ownership mindset and incredible workforce, 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 in the form of dividends and share repurchases in 2022 and beyond.
Beverage Packaging, North and Central America
Beverage packaging, North and Central America, comparable segment operating earnings for full-year 2021 were $681 million on sales of $5.9 billion compared to $683 million on sales of $5.1 billion in 2020.
For the fourth quarter 2021, comparable segment operating earnings were $162 million on sales of $1.5 billion compared to $139 million on sales of $1.3 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.
Full-year comparable segment operating earnings were flat and reflect 4% segment volume growth offset by the impact of non-aluminium inflationary costs, operational inefficiencies from persistent supply chain disruptions and $42 million of startup costs associated with opening three new multi-line plants capable of producing at least 8 billion units of incremental beverage can and end capacity entering 2022.
Fourth quarter comparable segment operating earnings increased 17 percent versus the same period in 2020. Volume growth of 5 percent, and the benefits from new manufacturing capacity, contractual terms, recent non-aluminium cost recovery initiatives, improved finished goods inventory levels and specialty growth more than offset startup costs, the impacts of supply chain and dunnage tightness and weather-related plant disruptions during the quarter.
Demand for aluminium beverage packaging continues to outstrip supply across North America.
In addition to the company’s new Glendale, Arizona, and Pittston, Pennsylvania, beverage can manufacturing facilities becoming operational in 2021, the company will initiate construction of new beverage can manufacturing facilities in North Las Vegas, Nevada, and Concord, North Carolina, in 2022 and 2023, respectively, to serve long-term committed volume with global and regional strategic customers serving all beverage categories.
Beverage Packaging, EMEA
Beverage packaging, EMEA, comparable segment operating earnings for full-year 2021 were $452 million on sales of $3.5 billion compared to $354 million on sales of $2.9 billion in 2020. Fourth quarter comparable segment operating earnings were $103 million on sales of $870 million compared to $106 million on sales of $768 million during the same period in 2020.
Year-over-year sales reflect higher shipments and the contractual pass through of higher aluminiuum costs.
Full-year comparable segment operating earnings increased 28% and reflect 8% segment volume growth, higher specialty mix and strong year-over-year consumption trends across Europe.
Fourth quarter comparable segment operating earnings were relatively flat versus the same period in 2020 and reflect 6 percent volume growth offset by unfavourable euro earnings translation, tight labor and raw material conditions impacting certain customer filling locations.
Packaging mix shift to sustainable aluminium cans continues, and demand is outstripping supply. Intermittent supply chain disruptions across the region were effectively managed throughout the year.
Contractual provisions and management practices are also in place to minimise potential impacts during the ongoing escalating cost environment. Successfully executed line speed ups in 2021, and greenfield projects in the U.K., Russia and Czech Republic during 2022, will enable further volume and operating earnings growth and are supported by long-term contracts.
Beverage Packaging, South America
Beverage packaging, South America, comparable segment operating earnings for full-year 2021 were $348 million on sales of $2.0 billion compared to $280 million on sales of $1.7 billion in 2020. Fourth quarter comparable segment operating earnings were $103 million on sales of $615 million compared to $107 million on sales of $529 million during the same period in 2020. Year-over-year fourth quarter sales reflect the contractual pass through of higher aluminium costs and higher shipments.
Full-year comparable segment operating earnings increased 24% and reflect 3% segment volume growth, favourable price/mix and contractual provisions for timely pass through of higher non-aluminium input costs offset by the impact of unfavourable weather conditions and operational inefficiencies associated with storm damage to a facility during the second half.
Fourth quarter comparable segment operating earnings were relatively flat versus the same period in 2020 and reflect 3% volume growth offset by unfavourable customer product mix.
In Brazil, underlying demand for sustainable aluminium packaging remains strong despite unseasonably cool and rainy weather conditions during the busy fourth quarter summer selling season.
To support long-term contracted volume growth and can-filling investments across South America, the company’s new beverage can manufacturing facility in Frutal, Brazil, will start up its second line during the first quarter of 2022, and additional investments across our remaining South American footprint will continue.