Together with Närpes Grönsaker, a Finnish vegetable co-operative, Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, commissioned a study that compared cherry tomato cartons made of paperboard with the currently used plastic box. The study specifically looked at consumer perceptions, food waste aspects and climate impact. The results showed that consumers regard paperboard as a more responsible choice than plastic packaging and that this perceived value translated into a willingness to pay more for it. The study also demonstrated that the paperboard cartons preserved the cherry tomatoes at least as well as the plastic equivalent. As part of the research a detailed consumer study was carried out in Finland with an external consumer research company, Sense N Insight. Paperboard was perceived as convenient, innovative, aesthetically pleasing and responsible with a high-status value which added to the quality image of the product. Most of the participants stated that they would prefer paperboard because of its recyclability but commented that they wanted to see the product better. Based upon the overall findings, the participants were willing to pay more for the paperboard carton than the plastic box, which demonstrates that consumers are now actively looking for alternatives to plastic.
U.S. Packaging net sales of $660.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2018 represented an increase of 2.7 percent compared to the same period of 2017. The increase in net sales was driven by price and mix. Compared to the prior fourth quarter, unit volumes were down approximately one percent, driven by the Company’s planned exit of infant care business at its Shelbyville, Tennessee facility. U.S. Packaging operating profit was $89.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, or 13.6 percent of net sales, compared to $89.3 million, or 13.9 percent of net sales, in 2017. Operating profit in the fourth quarter of 2018 included the benefits of cost savings from the Company’s Agility plan and improved operations, offset by the impact of customer incentives and the employee pay-for-performance plan.
First Quarter 2019 Highlights •Earned $0.54 per diluted share and $0.83 of adjusted earnings per diluted share compared to $4.38 per diluted share and $0.87 of adjusted earnings per diluted share in the prior year quarter. •The effective tax rate was 31.0% and the adjusted tax rate was 23.3%. •The Company’s first quarter of fiscal 2018 results included an estimated income tax benefit of $1.1 billion, or $4.19 per diluted share, as a result of the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, compared to a tax expense of $4 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2019. •Completed the acquisition of KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation (“KapStone” and the “KapStone Acquisition”) on November 2, 2018, and has included the results of KapStone in the Company’s financial results subsequent to that date.
International Paper reported fourth quarter 2018 net earnings attributable to International Paper of $316 million ($0.78 per diluted share) compared with $562 million ($1.37 per diluted share) in the third quarter of 2018 and net earnings of $1.5 billion ($3.50 per diluted share) in the fourth quarter of 2017. Full-year 2018 net earnings were $2.0 billion ($4.85 per diluted share) compared with net earnings of $2.1 billion ($5.13 per diluted share) for full-year 2017. Fourth quarter and full-year 2017 net earnings included a provisional net tax benefit of $1.2 billion ($2.93 per diluted share) related to the U.S. enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 reported as a special item. Net earnings in all periods include the impact of special items, if any, non-operating pension expense and discontinued operations.
Resolute Forest Products Inc. reported net income for the quarter ended December 31, 2018, of $36 million, or $0.38 per diluted share, compared to $13 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, in the same period in 2017. Sales were $932 million in the quarter, an increase of $34 million from the year-ago period. Excluding special items, the company reported net income of $4 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, compared to $14 million, or $0.15 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2017. For the year, the company reported GAAP net income of $235 million, or $2.52 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $84 million, or $0.93 per share, in 2017. Sales were $3.8 billion, up 7%, from the previous year. Excluding special items, the company reported net income of $183 million, or $1.96 per diluted share, compared to $12 million, or $0.13 per diluted share, in 2017.
Chris McCann, CEO of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, said, “We are pleased to report accelerated revenue growth and solid year-over-year increases in earnings and cash flows for our fiscal second quarter. These results were driven by strong holiday and everyday gifting demand, combined with excellent execution, across all three of our business segments.” McCann said that consolidated revenue growth of 8.6 percent during the quarter was driven, in large part, by the Company’s Harry & David business. “Customers who were looking to express themselves, connect and celebrate for the year-end holidays, as well as for everyday occasions, clearly responded to Harry & David’s “Share More” brand messaging and its continued focus on truly original product offerings. In addition, our increased investments in digital marketing programs for Harry & David contributed to total-company new customer growth of nearly twelve percent during the quarter while also enabling us to continue to deepen our relationships with existing customers.” McCann said strong growth in the Company’s Gourmet Food and Gift Baskets segment also benefited from enhanced operating performance in its Cheryl’s Cookies business as well as solid wholesale channel growth in gift baskets and The Popcorn Factory brand.
Q4 2018 highlights • Sales grew by 6% to EUR 2,731 million (2,571 million in Q4 2017). • Comparable EBIT increased by 10% to EUR 404 million (366 million). • Sales prices increased in all business areas, outweighing the impact of higher input costs. • Operating cash flow was strong at EUR 420 million (407 million). • Net debt decreased to EUR -311 million (174 million). • UPM increased the fair value of its forest assets in Finland by EUR 345 million, mainly due to higher forest growth estimates. • UPM Jämsänkoski release liner expansion in Finland was completed.
Oil prices will struggle to gain much upward traction this year, as concern about the global economy and growth in U.S. crude supply could offset a boost from OPEC production cuts and sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, a Reuters poll showed. “Oil demand will underperform long-run averages in 2019 as major consuming economies face a slowdown and serious downside risks, not least of which is the U.S.-China trade dispute,” Edward Bell of Emirates NBD bank said.
Electronics For Imaging, Inc. announced its results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2018. For the three months ended December 31, 2018, the Company reported revenue of $256.9 million, down 5% compared to $269.2 million for the same period in 2017. GAAP net loss was $3.1 million compared to GAAP net loss of $26.3 million for the same period in 2017 or $(0.07) per diluted share compared to $(0.58) per diluted share for the same period in 2017. Non-GAAP net income was $20.5 million, down 14% compared to $24.0 million for the same period in 2017 or $0.46 per diluted share, down 12% compared to $0.52 per diluted share for the same period in 2017. Cash flow from operating activities was $33.4 million, 162% of non-GAAP net income compared to $8.9 million, 37% of non-GAAP net income during the same period in 2017. For the year ended December 31, 2018, the Company reported revenue of $1.02 billion, up 2% compared to $993.3 million in for the year ended December 31, 2017.
▪ Operating profit excluding items affecting comparability for 2018 increased by SEK 310 million to SEK 2 476 million as a result of higher profits from forests and wood products. In the fourth quarter of 2018, SEK 94 million was recognised as an item affecting comparability regarding costs for a savings programme in paperboard. Operating profit including items affecting comparability amounted to SEK 2 382 million (2 166). ▪ Compared with the third quarter, operating profit excluding items affecting comparability increased by SEK 22 million to SEK 613 million. ▪ Profit after tax for 2018 was SEK 2 268 million (1 668), which corresponds to earnings per share of SEK 13.5 (9.9). ▪ Return on capital employed increased to 9.7 per cent (8.7).