Commenting on the Company’s fourth quarter results, Sonoco President and Chief Executive Officer Jack Sanders said, “Sonoco's results in the fourth quarter were at the mid-point of our guidance as we managed our diversified mix of businesses well. Gross profit margins were essentially flat year-over-year, despite rising raw material costs and a much greater than expected seasonal slowdown in business activity by many of our consumer and industrial customers. The year-over-year improvement in GAAP earnings in the quarter was driven by a net after-tax gain of $49.3 million on the disposal of our blowmolding operations. Compared to the prior-year quarter, the Company's base earnings were negatively impacted by the divestiture, fewer days, negative manufacturing productivity, and higher labor, maintenance and other operating costs. These items were partially offset by benefits from fixed-cost productivity improvements, as well as lower management incentives and pension and post-retirement benefit costs. “Operating profit in our Consumer Packaging segment declined 15.4 percent from the prior-year quarter, due to the negative impact of fewer business days and mix of sales, the blowmolding divestiture, negative productivity, and higher labor, maintenance and other operating costs. click Read More below for additional detail
Sonoco (NYSE:SON), one of the largest diversified global packaging companies, held the Grand Opening of its state-of-the-art iPS Studio on October 27, 2015, hosting more than 100 guests including state officials, customers and community leaders. The iPS Studio is a leading-edge research, development and innovation center that connects consumer and market insights to the invention of new packaging solutions, all under one roof. Sonoco invested $12 million to build the new Innovative Packaging Solutions research and development studio at its Hartsville, S.C. headquarters.
Key features of the iPS Studio include a Consumer Interaction space enabling live, direct observation of consumers interacting with products and packaging in areas including retail, kitchen, living and bathroom environments; collaborative spaces where experts can interact with the latest technologies to turn ideas into packaging concepts; technology for the development of structural design and manufacturing options that access potential for commercialization; a pilot plant to test manufacturing performance, state-of-the-art printing capability and rapid prototyping labs that aid in developing engineered prototypes that can then be tested in real world simulation spaces.
Created on the belief that “Sometimes where you think inspires what you think”™, the iPS Studio brings together people, ideas and experiences in a physical environment that fosters innovation. A key part of this blueprint for channeling intellectual capital is Sonoco’s i6 Innovation Process™ where insights, ideation and invention come together in a step-by-step process that starts every conversation with the customer. With the packaging industry’s broadest portfolio, deep expertise in design, testing and material science, and a disciplined process for innovation, Sonoco is uniquely positioned to create a 360° Customized Solution™ for customers.