Net sales for the first quarter of 2021 were $1.24 billion, an increase of $207.7 million, or 20.2 percent, as compared to the same period in the prior year. This increase was the result of higher net sales in all of the segments. Income before interest and income taxes for the first quarter of 2021 was a record $126.6 million, an increase of $24.5 million, or 24.0 percent, as compared to $102.1 million for the first quarter of 2020, and margins increased to 10.2 percent from 9.9 percent for the same periods. The increase in income before interest and income taxes was the result of higher income in the Dispensing and Specialty Closures and Custom Containers segments and lower corporate expenses primarily related to prior year costs for one-time plant employee incentive payments and announced acquisitions, partially offset by higher rationalization charges. Rationalization charges were $10.3 million and $2.8 million in the first quarters of 2021 and 2020, respectively.
Pregis announces its partnership with Circular Great Lakes (CGL), a regional initiative focused initially on keeping valuable plastic materials out of the waste stream and the environment. CGL has been created by the Council of the Great Lakes Region (CGLR) to create a “future without waste” in this binational economic region. Pregis is a founding member and funder of the initiative.
The mission behind the Circular Great Lakes initiative aligns perfectly with the Pregis Purpose to “Protect, Preserve & Inspyre” and its 2k30 sustainability goals. Pregis is committed to achieving circularity through product design and making end of life collection easier for consumers so materials can be brought back through the supply chain through recycling and reuse. The company views this opportunity as a way to collaborate with industry members, academia, material processors and purpose-driven customers to create this circular economy.
“Pregis has multiple facilities across the Great Lakes region which serve a high concentration of customers. For more than a decade, we have focused on producing protective packaging solutions that minimize impact on the environment by preventing damage and reducing reliance on virgin raw materials. Joining forces with the CGLR, as well as other environmentally-focused organizations, we are able to support and engage our local communities where many employees live and work,” said Kevin Baudhuin, president and chief executive officer, Pregis.
Driving the systemic changes necessary to close the loop for plastics in the region, shifting away from a linear, take-make-dispose economy and materials management mindset, Circular Great Lakes, working with partners such as the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), will develop a circular economy strategy for plastics in the region, setting the stage for targeted actions and partnerships over the next five years.
Pregis is also a member of several other environmental advocacy groups including the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, where it contributes its supply chain expertise to co-create a circular economy. Many Pregis products have been certified as eco-friendly by organizations such as the Forest Stewardship Council. Further, sales from a portion of its products contribute to UZima, a charitable organization that provides clean water filters to locations around the world.