O-I Glass, Inc. reported financial results for the full year and fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2019.
“O-I’s 2019 earnings were in line with our most recent guidance and cash flows exceeded expectations. We made significant progress during the second half of the year, ending on a positive note despite a very challenging start to 2019,” said Andres Lopez, CEO.
“As we enter 2020, we are taking bold structural actions to improve O-I’s business fundamentals. We are optimizing the company’s business portfolio and capital structure through accretive acquisitions and divestitures of assets that are not core to our strategy. Likewise, our recent corporate modernization effort, which rebranded the company as O-I Glass, supported January’s actions to establish a final, certain and equitable resolution of our legacy asbestos-related claims liabilities. We are focused on improving our operating performance with key turnaround initiatives including revenue optimization, factory performance and cost transformation. Furthermore, we intend to revolutionize glass, supported by our new MAGMA technology and leveraging glass’s clear advantages as a highly sustainable packaging choice. The combination of these efforts will drive improved operating performance and cash flow generation in 2020 and beyond,” said Lopez.
For the full year 2019, the company recorded a loss from continuing operations of $2.56 per share, compared with earnings of $0.89 per share (diluted) in 2018. Both periods included items management considers not representative of ongoing operations.
Excluding certain items management considers not representative of ongoing operations, 2019 adjusted earnings1 were $2.24 per share, compared with the prior year of $2.72 per share. Current year results were in line with the company’s guidance of $2.20 to $2.25 per share.
Cash provided by continuing operating activities for 2019 was $408 million, compared with $793 million for 2018. Adjusted free cash flow1 for 2019 was $133 million, which solidly exceeded the company’s expectation of approximately $100 million, compared with $362 million for 2018.
2019 Key Accomplishments:
O-I continued to optimize its business portfolio and capital structure. The addition of Nueva Fanal further aligned O-I to the growing premium beer category in Mexico. As part of the company’s ongoing tactical divestiture program, O-I sold its interest in a soda ash joint venture with proceeds used to reduce debt. O-I also advanced its strategic portfolio review to improve the company’s competitive position and create shareholder value. This review includes the evaluation of alternatives for O-I’s Australia and New Zealand operations which the company expects to resolve by mid-2020. Following refinancing activities, including the first high-yield industrial Green Bond by a U.S. issuer, the company has significantly improved liquidity, reduced interest costs and extended near term maturities.
In December 2019, the company completed a corporate modernization effort which resulted in the creation of O-I Glass, the new public company. In January 2020, Paddock Enterprises, LLC, a new subsidiary containing all of the company’s legacy asbestos-related claims liabilities, voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 relief with the aim of establishing a final, certain and equitable resolution for the company’s asbestos-related claims liabilities. This action does not include O-I Glass or any of its operating subsidiaries which continue to operate business as usual.
O-I is driving profitable growth with key strategic customers supported by capacity expansion initiatives across South America and Europe.
The company has initiated several turnaround portfolio initiatives to improve operating performance. The company has identified over $150 million of benefits over the next 3 years, and is targeting between $35 and $50 million of net benefits in 2020.
The first commercial products were delivered utilizing the company’s new MAGMA technology. Building from this important milestone, the company announced the deployment of MAGMA to its second location at Holzminden, Germany which should start production in the second half of 2020.
On February 4, 2020, the company’s Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.05 per share, payable on March 16, 2020, to stockholders of record as of the close of business on February 28, 2020.
O-I expects full year 2020 adjusted earnings will be approximately $2.10 – $2.25 per share. Cash provided by continuing operating activities is expected to exceed $650 million and free cash flow1 should approximate or exceed $300 million.
Full Year 2019 Results
Full year net sales were $6.7 billion compared to $6.9 billion in 2018. Higher selling prices increased revenue $176 million reflecting a 2.6 percent increase in average selling prices on a global basis. However lower shipments negatively impacted sales by $96 million as sales volume in tonnes declined 0.6 percent. Sales volumes reflected the net effect of a 1.7 percent decline in organic sales volumes and the benefit of Nueva Fanal. Unfavorable foreign currency translation reduced net sales by $239 million compared to 2018.
Segment operating profit was $841 million in 2019, compared with $945 million in the prior year.
Americas: Segment operating profit in the Americas was $495 million in 2019 compared with $585 million in 2018. Lower earnings primarily reflected incremental operating costs which more than offset the benefit from higher selling prices (net of cost inflation) and higher sales volumes. Total sales volumes in tonnes improved 0.4 percent as additional shipments attributed to the Nueva Fanal acquisition in mid-2019 more than offset a modest decline in organic sales volumes primarily due to lower demand in the North American beer category. Operating costs were unfavorably impacted by increased operating complexity following mix changes in North America, incremental costs to commission new capacity and market-related production downtime to balance supply with lower organic sales volumes. Earnings were also unfavorably impacted by foreign currency translation and temporary items that benefited 2018 but did not repeat in 2019, including a favorable resolution on indirect tax matters in Brazil.
Europe: Segment operating profit in Europe was $317 million in 2019 compared with $316 million in 2018. Reflecting Europe’s focus on improving mix, sales benefited from higher selling prices (net of cost inflation), which more than offset the unfavorable impact of lower sales volume and slightly higher operating costs. Sales volumes in tonnes declined 1.8 percent and were negatively impacted by weather-related factors in mid-2019 as well as capacity constraints across the network. Earnings were also unfavorably impacted by foreign currency translation and temporary items that benefited 2018, but did not repeat in 2019, including CO2 credit sales.
Asia Pacific: Segment operating profit in Asia Pacific was $29 million in 2019 compared with $44 million in 2018. Lower earnings primarily reflected a decline in selling prices, cost inflation and slightly lower shipments. Sales volume in tonnes declined 0.4 percent. Earnings also reflected unfavorable foreign currency translation.