• Core sales(1), which exclude currency translation effects and the impact of the recent Mega Airless acquisition, rose 2% despite a negative impact of 2% from decreased custom tooling sales and the passing through of lower resin costs • Reported sales declined 1% primarily due to negative currency translation effects of 4% • Comparable adjusted earnings per share(1) rose 3% over the prior year and were in-line with previous guidance • 2016 comparable adjusted earnings per share, which excluded the effects of the Mega Airless acquisition and certain non-recurring tax benefits, were $0.71 compared to currency-adjusted earnings per share of $0.69 in the prior year
Net sales increased 28% to $29.1 billion in the first quarter, compared with $22.7 billion in first quarter 2015. Excluding the $210 million unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales increased 29% compared to first quarter 2015. Operating income was $1.1 billion in the first quarter, compared with $255 million in first quarter 2015. Net income was $513 million in the first quarter, or $1.07 per diluted share, compared with net loss of $57 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, in first quarter 2015.
“WestRock had a very good second quarter, with solid operating results highlighted by the significant margin improvement in our Consumer Packaging segment," said Steve Voorhees, chief executive officer of WestRock. “We delivered strong financial performance and made progress on the achievement of our synergy and performance improvement goals by realizing $350 million in annual run-rate savings as of the end of the second quarter. Our performance this quarter further demonstrates the success of our differentiated strategy that is creating value for our customers and stockholders. We continue to expect to generate between $950 million to $1 billion in free cash flow during fiscal 2016.” Net sales declined $41 million compared to the combined prior year period. The decline was primarily attributable to the impact of $51 million of foreign currency, $31 million of lower Consumer Packaging net sales due to MeadWestvaco’s sale of its European tobacco converting business in April 2015 prior to the merger, and $33 million of lower Specialty Chemicals net sales, excluding foreign currency, which were partially offset by $16 million of higher Land and Development net sales.
Stora Enso has successfully converted a fine paper machine at Varkaus Mill to produce virgin-fibre-based containerboard. Stora Enso invested EUR 110 million in the conversion work, which took place in 2015. Kraftliner production began in October 2015 and full production is expected in early 2017. The capacity of the Varkaus Mill will be about 390 000 tonnes of light-weight kraftliner per year. Moreover, Stora Enso has built a new production line in Varkaus Mill that will make wooden building elements, laminated veneer lumber (LVL). The investment of EUR 43 million will further enhance Stora Enso’s position as a global provider of high quality engineered wooden elements. The production is scheduled to begin in June 2016, and the estimated yearly capacity will be around 100 000m3.
We continue to expect to report adjusted operating profit and adjusted earnings per share before the costs of restructuring of between £580m and £620m and between 50p and 55p respectively for the full year. This guidance assumes Sterling exchange rates against the US Dollar and other key currencies as of 31 December 2015. Pearson’s sales are always significantly weighted towards the second half of the calendar year. In the first three months of the year continuing sales were down 4% in underlying terms, primarily due to the expected weakness in assessments revenues in the US and UK which are weighted towards the first half of the year. Revenues declined 9% at constant exchange rates, reflecting underlying revenue declines and the impact of a change in revenue model at Connections Education which records revenue for services charged at cost on a net basis (which will also affect reported H1 revenues). Headline sales decreased 6% with the benefit from the strength of the US dollar against sterling partly offset by the weakness of key emerging market currencies.
The company reported net sales of $437.2 million for the first quarter of 2016, up 0.7% compared to net sales of $434.0 million for the first quarter of 2015. Net earnings determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, for the first quarter of 2016 were $18.4 million, or $1.05 per diluted share, compared to $5.8 million, or $0.30 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2015. Excluding certain items identified in the attached reconciliations to GAAP, first quarter 2016 adjusted net earnings were $19.2 million, or $1.09 per diluted share, compared to first quarter 2015 adjusted net earnings of $6.9 million, or $0.36 per diluted share. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, was $58.9 million for the first quarter of 2016. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $60.1 million, up 58.4% compared to first quarter 2015 Adjusted EBITDA of $37.9 million.
• Revenue increased 5.9% year-over-year, primarily due to the Financial Services segment which grew 14.1% and includes the results of Datamyx LLC and FISC Solutions which were acquired in the fourth quarter of 2015, as well as growth of 4.8% for the Small Business Services segment. Revenue from marketing solutions and other services increased 19.4% year-over-year and accounted for 31.3% of consolidated revenue in the quarter. • Gross margin was 64.2% of revenue, compared to 64.8% in the first quarter of 2015. Unfavorable product revenue mix and increased delivery and material costs were partly offset by price increases early in the quarter, an increase in service margins and improvements in manufacturing productivity. • Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expense increased 3.2% from last year primarily due to additional SG&A expense from acquisitions, but was partially offset by continued cost reduction initiatives in all segments. SG&A as a percent of revenue was 43.9% in the quarter compared to 45.0% last year. • Operating income increased 8.6% year-over-year and includes restructuring and transaction-related costs in both periods. Adjusted operating income, which excludes these items, increased 9.1% year-over-year from higher revenue and continued cost reductions.
•Earnings per share were $1.79, compared to $0.56 in the prior-year period. •Excluding special items in both periods, earnings per share increased 30 percent to $0.92, compared to $0.71 in the prior-year period. •Fiscal 2016 third-quarter special items were related primarily to $60 million received from the termination of Meredith's merger agreement with Media General, Inc. (See Tables 1-4 for supplemental disclosures regarding non-GAAP financial measures.) •Total Company revenues increased 6 percent to $423 million.
◦1Q Earnings per Share Increases 13% to $1.27 ◦International Operating Profit Jumps 15% ◦U.S. Domestic Expands Operating Margin as Cost per Unit Drops 1.9% ◦Revenue Growth Slowed by Changes in Fuel and Currency ◦Affirms Full-Year 2016 EPS Guidance of $5.70 to $5.90
Consumers for Paper Options, a coalition advocating for access to important paper-based services and information, today applauded the passage of a congressional resolution calling on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to partially reinstate the mailing of paper-based tax instructions. U.S. House Resolution 673 (H. Res 673), which was introduced by Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) and passed the House Floor yesterday, says the IRS should provide free paper copies of Publication 17, the Tax Guide for Individuals, to taxpayers who request them. In an effort to cut costs and encourage the shift towards electronic tax filing, the IRS stopped providing a paper version of Publication 17 in 2015. The only place to find the instructions on paper is through the Government Printing Office, where a hard copy version can be ordered for $23. The IRS is neither offering the income tax instruction booklet to individual filers, nor is it equipping libraries or post offices with the booklet for distribution, as it has done in the past.