Aptar, a supplier of a broad range of innovative dispensing, sealing and active packaging solutions, has reported that its sales increased to $685m for the quarter ended 31 December 2018, compared to $626m in the prior year.
Core sales, excluding the negative impact from changes in currency exchange rates and positive acquisition effects, increased approximately 7%.
Commenting on the quarter, Stephan Tanda, President and CEO, said, “Core sales growth reached the high end of our long-term target range as two of our three business segments grew and the third was impacted by lower custom tooling sales compared to a year ago. I am pleased with this top line performance over what was a strong period a year ago when each segment posted double-digit core growth. Our Pharma segment had another excellent quarter while our Beauty + Home segment performed well, and our Food + Beverage segment underperformed in the Chinese beverage market. Demand for our innovative solutions was again broad-based and we increased core sales in each geographic region and across each of our end markets other than the beverage market. We implemented price increases to pass-along raw material cost increases but faced cost headwinds and some operational challenges in our Beauty + Home segment. We intend to remain diligent in our cost pass-through and turnaround efforts. In addition, the integration of CSP Technologies is progressing well and we are pleased to offer CSP’s active packaging solutions as part of Aptar’s ever-growing portfolio of differentiating solutions.”
Aptar reported earnings per share of $0.62 compared to $0.77 reported a year ago. Current year adjusted earnings per share, excluding restructuring expenses, acquisition costs and purchase accounting adjustments, were $0.92 and up 19% from the prior year adjusted earnings per share, including comparable exchange rates, of $0.77.
For the year ended December 31, 2018, reported sales increased 12% to $2.76 billion from $2.47 billion a year ago. Core sales, excluding the positive impact from changes in currency exchange rates and acquisition effects, increased approximately 8%.
Tanda commented on the annual results, “We had an excellent year overall with strong top line growth across each segment, each geographic region and in all end markets other than beverage, which was slightly down on lower custom tooling sales. We continued to benefit from our Commercial Excellence and Transformation initiatives, especially in our Beauty + Home segment. We also faced inflationary cost increases that had negative effects on our profitability and we are working diligently to increase prices to offset these headwinds. Aptar’s strategic priorities continue to forge a path for success and we are committed to helping our customers win in their markets with the industry’s broadest portfolio of differentiated services and solutions.”
For the year 2018, Aptar reported earnings per share of $3.00 compared to $3.41 reported a year ago. Current year adjusted earnings per share, excluding restructuring expenses, acquisition costs and purchase accounting adjustments, were $4.00 and up 13% from prior year adjusted earnings per share, including comparable exchange rates, of $3.54.
The business transformation in Aptar’s Beauty + Home segment and key corporate functions is progressing as planned with the goal to become a more agile and customer-focused organization. Our commercial initiatives are yielding positive results on our Beauty + Home segment’s top line growth. In addition, other initiatives are also contributing to margin improvements though their impacts were offset by headwinds including the timing of raw material cost pass-throughs and isolated operational challenges in the fourth quarter.
Commenting on Aptar’s outlook, Tanda said, “We anticipate positive sales momentum continuing into the first quarter, and we expect each segment to post core sales growth over the prior year. We are addressing near-term opportunities and challenges while we plan for the long-term. Aptar is a leader in the global packaging and drug delivery industries and we are committed to playing a part in creating a more sustainable future for generations to come. I am pleased to say that we are accelerating our efforts and taking the next steps toward this goal. We recently announced that we have signed the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment and joined the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. While our portfolio already offers fully recyclable and post-consumer recycled resin solutions, we are looking forward to having an even greater impact towards a truly circular economy.”
Our current first quarter earnings per share guidance range reflects a higher tax rate and higher estimated outstanding share count than the prior year and it also assumes negative foreign currency translation effects as the euro has weakened considerably from a year ago. Aptar expects earnings per share for the first quarter, excluding any restructuring costs, to be in the range of $0.95 to $1.00 and this guidance is based on an effective tax rate range of 29% to 31%. The midrange of this guidance represents an improvement of approximately 9% over the prior year earnings per share excluding restructuring expenses and adjusted to comparable currency and tax rates. Prior year reported earnings per share were $0.92.
As previously reported, the Board declared on January 17, 2019 a quarterly cash dividend of $0.34 per share. The payment date is February 20, 2019, to stockholders of record as of January 30, 2019.
There will be a conference call on Thursday, February 21, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. Central Time to discuss the Company’s fourth quarter and annual results for 2018. The call will last approximately one hour. Interested parties are invited to listen to a live webcast by visiting the Investor Relations page at www.aptar.com. Replay of the conference call can also be accessed for a limited time on the Investor Relations page of the website.
Aptar is a leading global supplier of a broad range of innovative dispensing, sealing and active packaging solutions for the beauty, personal care, home care, prescription drug, consumer health care, injectables, food and beverage markets. Aptar uses insights, design, engineering and science to create innovative packaging technologies that build brand value for its customers, and, in turn, make a meaningful difference in the lives, looks, health and homes of people around the world. Aptar is headquartered in Crystal Lake, Illinois and has over 14,000 dedicated employees in 18 different countries.
Source: Company Press Release.