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Ball’s net earnings increase in 2017

Ball has reported its operating results for the year 2017 and reaffirmed the long term goals for the year 2019.

Ball has reported a full-year 2017 net earnings attributable to the corporation of $399m or $1.12 per diluted share, on sales of $11.0 billion, compared to $263 million attributable to the corporation, or 81 cents per diluted share (including the net effect of after-tax charges of $300 million, or 93 cents per diluted share for business consolidation, debt refinancing and other non-comparable costs), on sales of $9.1 billion in 2016.

Ball's 2017 comparable net earnings were $728 million, or $2.04 per diluted share, compared to $563 million, or $1.74 per diluted share in 2016.

Fourth quarter 2017 net earnings attributable to Ball Corporation, on a U.S. GAAP basis, were $184 million, or 52 cents per diluted share, on sales of $2.75 billion, compared to $52 million, or 15 cents per diluted share, on sales of $2.5 billion, in the fourth quarter of 2016. Ball's fourth quarter 2017 comparable net earnings were $213 million, or 60 cents per diluted share, compared to $155 million, or 44 cents per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Earnings per share figures include the impact of the company's two-for-one stock split effective May 16, 2017. The historical 2016 comparable operating results prior to June 30, 2016, exclude the effects of the Rexam transaction. Details of comparable segment earnings, business consolidation activities and other non-comparable costs, impact of the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and catch-up depreciation entries for the last six months of 2016 and recorded in 2017 related to the finalization of the fair values for the June 30, 2016, Rexam acquisition can be found in the notes to the unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements that accompany this news release.

Ball chairman, president and CEO John Hayes said: "Ball Corporation finished the year strong, with continued improved performance across each of our segments. In our global beverage can business, overall volumes were up approximately 2.5 percent in the quarter, driven by continued strong performance in our South American beverage can business, a rebound in our North American beverage operations following the hurricane disruptions experienced in the third quarter, and our European beverage can business continued to execute its margin-enhancing strategy.

“In addition, our food and aerosol segment was up year-over-year in the quarter driven by the mid-single digit increase in global aluminum aerosol volumes and better than expected tinplate packaging volumes, while our aerospace team achieved record contracted backlog levels at year-end," said John A. Hayes, chairman, president and chief executive officer.”

"We are poised to execute on numerous growth capital and network optimization projects to enhance our customers' access to our innovative specialty container portfolio while also expanding the company's U.S. aerospace infrastructure. With our businesses operating from a position of strength, we continue to drive toward our financial goals of $2 billion of comparable EBITDA and in excess of $1 billion of free cash flow in 2019."