KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation announced it is making an investment in building a new state-of-the-art sheet plant in Ontario, California, as well as investing as a minority partner in a sheet feeder in Ontario, California. The new sheet plant is expected to be manufacturing boxes by January 2017 and is intended to primarily supply the Company's Victory Packaging operations in Southern California as well as other KapStone customers. This venture, as well as another minority investment in a sheet feeder announced today, are expected to increase KapStone's vertical integration by over 60,000 tons per year and will ramp up to that level over eighteen months. Collectively, these investments are expected to be approximately $25 million and will be largely funded before fiscal year end 2016. Roger Stone, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of KapStone, said, "These investments are consistent with our strategy to increase the vertical integration of KapStone's mills, reducing exposure to non-integrated end markets, and are in addition to the 20,000 to 25,000 tons per year vertical integration from the Central Florida Box acquisition. The Ontario, California, sheet plant will further extend our geographic reach to better service KapStone's customers while internalizing the production of some of our Victory Packaging corrugated box demand."
AptarGroup, Inc. (NYSE:ATR) today reported first quarter sales and earnings per share. Excluding currency effects, comparable earnings per share increased significantly over the prior year despite a slight decline in sales.
First Quarter 2015 Summary
• Excluding currency translation effects, core sales declined 1%
• Earnings per share reached $0.70, a 17% increase over the prior year currency-adjusted earnings per share of $0.60
• Reported sales and earnings per share were negatively impacted by weak foreign currencies, primarily the Euro
• Reported sales decreased 13% to $590 million and reported earnings per share decreased 1% to $0.70 per share from $0.71 per share reported in the prior year
• Pharma segment delivered excellent results with core sales growth in each market
• Each business segment achieved operating profit margins equal to or above the prior year’s levels
For the quarter ended March 31, 2015, reported sales decreased 13% to $590 million from $676 million a year ago. Excluding the negative impact from changes in currency exchange rates, core sales decreased by 1%.
Commenting on the quarter, Stephen Hagge, President and CEO, said, “I am pleased that we were able to achieve strong earnings per share growth on a comparable currency-adjusted basis despite softness in certain markets. Our results were primarily driven by another excellent quarter for our Pharma segment that grew cores sales in each of its markets. We also benefited from cost containment efforts and lower raw material costs across each business segment. We are on the right track toward improving the margin profile of our Beauty + Home segment and while we are in the early stages, I think this quarter’s result was a good start. In addition, after a slow start to the quarter, our Food + Beverage segment’s sales gained momentum as the quarter progressed.”
AptarGroup reported earnings per share of $0.70 compared to $0.71 per share a year ago. Assuming a comparable foreign currency exchange rate environment, comparable earnings per share for the prior year were approximately $0.60.