Consolidated sales of the Group totaled EUR 2,337.7 million and thus were at previous year's level (2017: EUR 2,336.8 million). A price-related increase in sales at the cartonboard division contrasts with a slight decrease at the packaging division. At EUR 217.1 million, an operating profit above the previous year's level was achieved (2017: EUR 215.0 million). The Group’s operating margin reached 9.3 % (2017: 9.2 %), the return on capital employed 15.5 % (2017: 15.1 %). Profit before tax increased by 6.0 % to EUR 217.9 million (2017: EUR 205.5 million). Income tax expenses totaled EUR 53.7 million (2017: EUR 50.5 million), with the effective Group tax rate for 2018 remaining constant at 24.7 % (2017: 24.6 %). Profit for the year rose by 5.9 % to EUR 164.2 million (2017: EUR 155.0 million). Click Read More below for additional detail.
To support the delivery of beverage packaging innovations that increase shelf appeal, convenience and sustainability and continue providing world-class customer service, Crown Europe has made major investments in its Bevcan Graphics Studio. The facility, based in Leicester, U.K. features new computer-to-plate (CTP) imaging technology, a new 8-colour proofing machine to complement the existing upgraded version and additional enhancements to its flat digital proofing capabilities.
“Crown recognizes that packaging is an essential element of brand identity, which is built on consistency, quality, innovation and graphical excellence,” said Ian Gannicott, General Manager Graphics at Crown Bevcan Europe and Middle East. “Our investments in the Graphics Studio were made with the customer front of mind, and from the results we have seen so far, we are confident that we focused efforts in the right places. In 2017, activity levels soared by 26 percent on top of an already busy visit schedule, which demonstrates the quality, dedication and commitment our team delivers every single day.”
The studio features a new exhibition area that provides in-depth information about sustainability and the benefits of metal packaging, decoration as well as guidance for designing artwork for beverage cans. It also offers a detailed overview of the can and end making processes. An Innovation Bar has also been added, covering everything from can shaping to end differentiation and also offers insight into Crown’s new “Colourful World” decorative finishes range.
“Without exception, customers using the Graphics Studio facilities have commented on how productive the experience is and how valuable it has been to work through processes and project details in an engaging and educational manner,” said Gannicott. “Each studio professional is highly trained in their respective fields, from proofing and reprographics to design and production. Customer service is a core focus across the board, ensuring customers’ needs are taken care of from the conception of a design through to completion.”