Glass and metal packaging giant Ardagh Group took a $94 million hit in 2018, compared to a profit of $63 million in 2017, as the company struggled to offset losses from its North American glass packaging business.
Its adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), dropped 2% to $1.47 billion for the year.
The group said that its performance was impacted by lower volumes, particularly in the beer end-market, as well as by increased freight and logistics costs.
Despite the loss in profits, the group increased its revenue for the year by 6% to $9.1 billion, with constant currency growth of 3%.
It added that total exception items in 2018 amounted to $351 million.
Exceptional items included $116 million related to its capacity realignment programmes, a $186 million impairment charge to goodwill in relation to its North American glass packaging division, and $16 million in debt refinancing and settlement costs.
Ardagh’s North American glass packaging business has performed poorly as of late, forcing the company to embark on a restructuring plan which has led to the closure of some plants.
Paul Coulson, chairman and chief executive of the Ardagh Group, said that revenue and adjusted EBITDA increased in the quarter, despite an adverse currency headwind.
Revenue and adjusted EBITDA grew by 4% for the fourth quarter at constant currency.
“Glass packaging in Europe delivered another strong performance in 2018, with broad-based volume growth,” Coulson said.
“In Glass North America, our ongoing initiatives to improve financial performance are proceeding as planned.”
Looking ahead, the group said it expects adjusted EBITDA of at least $1.5 billion, with adjusted free cash flow of approximately $450 million.
It also expects first-quarter adjusted EBITDA of approximately $350 million, compared to $338 million for the fourth quarter of 2018.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.