Profit after tax at global packaging giant Amcor for the six months to December dropped by a smidgen to US328.5m, from US$329.7m last year, on sales that rose slightly to US$4.55bn from US$4.5bn.
The market liked the results, with share price up by 1.2 per cent on the announcement to a six month high of $14.46, as projections for continued US economic growth attracted investors to the comany with an increasing footprint in North America.
Sales of flexibles were down slightly, to US$3.141bn from US$3.167bn, while profit before interest and tax slipped by 1.8 per cent to US$389m.
Sales of rigid plastics were up to US$1.41bn from $US$1.335bn, with profit before interest and tax rising by 3.6 per cent to US$149m. Growth in rigid plastics was attributed to higher volumes in food and beverage.
Amcor told investors that its integration of Bemis is on track to close by the end of June.
Commenting on the results CEO Ron Delia said: “Amcor had a good first half year with earnings growth in line with our expectations, and balanced across the Flexibles and Rigids packaging segments."
Some of the highlights within Amcor over the last six months include continued sales growth with multinational and regional customers, in healthcare packaging globally, and strong earnings growth in emerging markets.
“We remain on track to deliver against the full year outlook we provided in August 2018, which has not changed. In the 2019 financial year we expect both the Flexibles and Rigids segments to achieve solid underlying earnings growth in constant currency terms, and cash flow is expected to be strong.
“Amcor is positioned in the packaging industry with scale and leadership positions in both flexible and rigid packaging, a broad, global footprint and leading innovation capabilities. By combining with Bemis, there is an opportunity to further strengthen our industry-leading value proposition for customers and employees, and to deliver the most sustainable innovations for the environment.
“Significant value will also be created for shareholders through US$180m of cost synergies and a stronger financial profile going forward, including higher margins and cash flow and the potential for higher growth.”