Ball announces strong 2011 results
And although net profit slipped 5.4% to $466 million chief executive John Hayes (pictured) is confident about the outlook for 2012.
He said: “Ball Corporation’s 2011 full-year comparable earnings per share increased more than 15% compared to 2010, in an economic environment that remains challenging across much of the world. Our improved 2011 performance was the result of maximising value in our existing businesses, expanding into new products and capabilities, broadening our geographic reach, aligning ourselves with the right customers and markets and leveraging our technological expertise – all key strategies in our Drive for 10 vision to achieve continued long-term growth.
“Our Drive for 10 vision focuses on continuing Ball’s strong performance over the next decade, and the momentum we built in 2011 provides us with a strong start toward that goal. We expect investments made in growth projects in 2011 to benefit 2012 results as those projects come on line, and our Drive for 10 actions will play a key role in helping Ball achieve our goal of 10 to 15% earnings per share growth in 2012 and beyond.”
Fourth quarter 2011 net earnings attributable to Ball Corporation were $77.5 million, on sales of $2.1 billion, compared to $92.2 million on sales of $2.0 billion, in the fourth quarter of 2010. On a comparable basis, Ball’s fourth quarter results were net earnings of $78.1 million, compared to $94.4 million, in the fourth quarter of 2010. Weaker 12oz beverage can volumes in North America and Europe and six fewer accounting days dampened fourth quarter results and were partially offset by strong operating performance and continued growth in speciality packaging.
Metal beverage packaging, Americas and Asia, comparable segment operating earnings were $481.7 million for full-year 2011 on sales of $4.4 billion, compared to $418.3 million in 2010 on sales of $3.8 billion. For the fourth quarter, comparable earnings were $119.9 million on sales of $1.1 billion, compared to $117.0 million on sales of $1.0 billion in 2010.
In Europe, comparable segment results in 2011 were operating earnings of $243.7 million on sales of $2.0 billion, compared to $213.5 million on sales of $1.7 billion in 2010. For the fourth quarter, comparable operating earnings in 2011 were $41.0 million on sales of $451.0 million, compared to $42.3 million on sales of $408.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.
During the fourth quarter, continued soft beverage can volumes were partially offset by strong demand for extruded aluminium packaging. Ball will relocate the company’s European headquarters from Germany to Switzerland during 2012 to centralize administrative functions and align more closely with customers.
Metal food and household products packaging, Americas, comparable segment results for 2011 were operating earnings of $133.7 million on sales of $1.4 billion, compared to $129.1 million in 2010 on sales of $1.4 billion. For the fourth quarter of 2011, comparable segment results were operating earnings of $13.1 million on sales of $322.8 million, compared to $24.6 million on sales of $352.6 million in the same period of 2010.