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Sonoco’s net sales increase 13.7% in Q4

Packaging firm Sonoco has reported a 13.7% increase in net sales to $1.30bn for the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to $1.14bn for the same period in 2016.

The company said the growth in net sales was supported by acquisitions, net of divestitures; higher selling prices, largely driven by increasing raw material prices; solid volume growth; and the positive impact of foreign exchange.

Net income attributable to Sonoco was $5.7m, or $0.06 per diluted share, compared with $104.9m, or $1.04 per diluted share, in 2016. 

The company’s consumer packaging segment were $554.2m, compared with $485m in 2016.

Fourth-quarter 2017 sales for the display and packaging segment were $142.4m, compared with $113.3m in 2016.

The protective solutions segment sales were $131.3m, essentially flat with 2016.

The company expects first-quarter 2018 base earnings to be in the range of $0.69 to $0.75 per diluted share.

Sonoco president and CEO Jack Sanders said the company was disappointed in results from its Protective Solutions and Display and Packaging segments, which are both facing significant market and operational headwinds.

“In Protective Solutions, we experienced a continued decline in volume in our automotive components business in the fourth quarter, while in our Display and Packaging segment inefficiencies and higher-than-expected operating costs associated with the accelerated ramp up of the new pack center continued to impact segment results.

“We are aggressively implementing operational changes to improve 2018 results in these businesses.”

Earlier this year, Sonoco introduced SoftPeel membrane for improved cut-finger protection, additional printable packaging space.

The company’s softPeel membranes provide a paper look and pair well with Sonoco’s composite cans, whose fiber content is at least 70% recycled paper.

The membranes are the latest addition to the company’s suite of membrane and full-panel aluminum solutions, which includes low opening-force options, tamper-resistant closures and customizable embossed membranes.