WestRock Reports Fiscal 2019 Fourth Quarter Results

WestRock Company (NYSE:WRK), a leading provider of differentiated paper and packaging solutions, today announced results for its fiscal fourth quarter and fiscal year ended September 30, 2019.

Fourth Quarter 2019 Highlights
• Earned $1.20 per diluted share and $1.24 of adjusted earnings per diluted share compared to $1.08 per diluted share and $1.29 of adjusted earnings per diluted share in the prior year quarter
• Corrugated Packaging Segment EBITDA margin of 23.1% and North American Adjusted Segment EBITDA margin of 23.2%
• Consumer Packaging Segment EBITDA margin and Adjusted Segment EBITDA margin of 16.1%, an increase of 50 basis points and 100 basis points, respectively, compared to the prior year quarter
• Net cash provided by operating activities of $911 million and Adjusted Operating Cash Flow of $942 million; total debt declined by $475 million sequentially

Full Year 2019 and Other Highlights
• Earned $3.33 per diluted share and $3.98 of adjusted earnings per diluted share compared to $7.34 and $4.09, respectively, in the prior year
• Completed KapStone acquisition and achieved run rate of $90 million in synergies and performance improvements
• Invested $1.37 billion in capital expenditures, including $0.5 billion in strategic capital projects
• Generated net cash provided by operating activities of $2.31 billion and Adjusted Free Cash Flow of $1.04 billion
• Returned $557 million to stockholders through dividends and stock repurchases
• Reduced total debt by $757 million since December 31, 2018
• Increased annual dividend by 2.2% to an annualized rate of $1.86 per share

“The WestRock team executed well and delivered strong financial results for both the fourth quarter and the fiscal year,” said Steve Voorhees, chief executive officer. “As we move forward into fiscal year 2020, we remain focused on organic growth, including partnering with our customers to develop fiber-based packaging solutions that help them meet their sustainability goals. With uncertain macro-economic conditions, we are acting to deliver on our productivity and cash flow generation goals.”

Net sales increased $415 million compared to the prior year quarter, primarily due to the acquisition of KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation (“KapStone”). The KapStone acquisition-related increase in sales was partially offset by lower corrugated volumes and prices. The increase in net sales was also partially offset by the absence of $106 million of recycling net sales compared to the prior year quarter since the Company transitioned recycling to a procurement function and ceased recording recycling net sales at the beginning of fiscal 2019. Consumer Packaging segment net sales were lower by $41 million, primarily due to lower volumes and unfavorable foreign currency impacts.

Segment income increased $72 million compared to the prior year quarter, primarily due to $64 million of increased Corrugated Packaging segment income. Consumer Packaging segment income increased $5 million. The increase in consolidated segment income was primarily due to insurance proceeds related to the receipt of Hurricane Michael that were primarily associated with the Panama City, Florida, mill, the contribution from the acquired KapStone operations, productivity improvements and cost deflation. This was partially offset by lower selling price/mix and volumes.
more detail at: http://ir.westrock.com/press-releases/press-release-details/2019/WestRock-Reports-Fiscal-2019-Fourth-Quarter-Results/default.aspx

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