Sustainable packaging solutions provider Ball has reported net earnings of $59m for the third quarter of 2018, compared to $51m for the same period in 2017.
Net earnings for the nine months ended 30 September 2018 increased to $304m, compared to $221m in the year-ago period.
Net sales grew to $2.94bn for the third quarter, compared to $2.90bn for the same period last year.
Beverage packaging, North and Central America, comparable segment operating earnings in the third quarter were $153m.
The company said during Q3, its new specialty beverage can manufacturing plant in Goodyear continued to ramp up on all four new production lines, whilw the Chatsworth, California, and Longview, Texas, beverage can facilities stopped operations.
The net $50m of annual fixed cost savings associated with the North American optimization program, which enhances availability of the company’s specialty containers and better aligns supply-demand of standard 12-ounce containers, will start in the fourth quarter 2018 with the full benefit to be realized next year.
Beverage packaging, South America, comparable segment operating earnings in the third quarter of 2018 were $71m.
Ball noted that third quarter results reflect the earlier disclosed conclusion of the third-party end sales agreement as part of the Rexam acquisition and overall segment volumes being down 3% in the quarter because of the loss of various business in Brazil.
The company expects the announced can line expansions in Argentina and Paraguay and the relocation of equipment from previously closed plants to serve the increasing demand for aluminum beverage packaging across its South American customer base.
Beverage packaging, Europe, comparable segment operating earnings in Q3 were $84m on sales of $683 million, compared to $74 million in the third quarter of 2017.
The company’s new aluminum beverage can plant near Madrid, Spain, continued to ramp up both new production lines during the quarter.
Ball chairman, president and CEO John Hayes said the increasing global demand for environmentally favored aluminum beverage and aerosol cans, as well as continued growth in aerospace backlog, positions the company for sustainable long-term growth.
Hayes said: “Our global team continues to execute on value-creating investments and commercial initiatives. We remain on track to return in excess of $800 million to our shareholders in 2018 via share repurchases and dividends, and continue to reaffirm our financial goals of $2 billion of comparable EBITDA and in excess of $1 billion of free cash flow in 2019.”
Ball and its subsidiaries employ 17,500 people globally and reported net sales of $11bn in 2017.