Ball Corporation has recorded a 5.8% increase in sales in its third-quarter results, due to strong demand for cans in Latin America.
In the three months to 30 September, the US company saw its net sales rise to $2.91 billion, up from $2.75 billion for the same period of 2016. Its global can volumes were up by 2%.
In its South American Beverage Packaging Unit, sales were up 33.6% to $425 million. Segment volumes were up double digits with mid-single digit growth in Brazil.
Despite a ‘steep decline’ in US beer demand in September, sales in the company’s Beverage Packaging Unit in North and Central America remained flat at $1.08 billion. This was thanks to continued growth in Mexican beer imports and differentiated specialty can sizes for carbonated soft drinks and other non-alcoholic beverages.
Ball said the results reflect the ‘notable impact’ of unplanned operational and logistics costs associated with two US hurricanes during peak summer demand when inventory levels are seasonally low.
Speaking of the results, Ball Corporation CEO John A. Hayes said: “Strong performance across our diverse global business portfolio offset the challenging environment we experienced late in the quarter in our North American beverage business due to out-of-pattern and higher cost freight, operational downtime and lower absorption following two US hurricanes.
“Our global beverage can volumes grew 2% in the quarter, largely due to strong demand across South America versus difficult domestic US beer demand, where Ball has a majority position.
“Our European and South American beverage businesses continued their improved performance, and we continue to make progress on our global finance transformation projects and corporate cost-out initiatives with the opening of shared service centres in Belgrade, Serbia, and Querétaro, Mexico.
“These multi-year activities, coupled with normalised operating conditions in our Beverage Packaging, North and Central America segment, planned 2018 beverage manufacturing plant network optimisations, new US and Spain specialty beverage can plants and continuing aerospace and aerosol growth, provide a bridge to our long-standing financial goals of $2 billion of comparable EBITDA and in excess of $1 billion of free cash flow by 2019.”
During the quarter, Ball announced the closure of several beverage can plants in the US as well as the construction of a speciality beverage can manufacturing facility in Goodyear, Arizona. These initiatives will largely be completed in the second half of 2018.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2018
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