US-based packaging company AptarGroup has revealed that its first quarter sales were US$590m, down 13 percent compared to sales of US$676m during the same period last year.
Declining sales were impacted by weak foreign currencies, primarily the Euro, the group states. Excluding the negative impact from changes in currency exchange rates, core sales are estimated to have decreased by 1 percent.
The company, which operates in the beauty and home, food and beverage, and pharma markets, posted strong growth in its pharma segment with sales up 7 percent. Yet sales in beauty and home and food and beverage markets were both down by 4 percent.
Commenting on the quarter Stephen Hagge, President and CEO, commented, “I am pleased that we were able to achieve strong earnings per share growth on a comparable currency-adjusted basis despite softness in certain markets.
“Our results were primarily driven by another excellent quarter for our Pharma segment that grew cores sales in each of its markets. We also benefited from cost containment efforts and lower raw material costs across each business segment.
“We are on the right track toward improving the margin profile of our Beauty + Home segment and while we are in the early stages I think this quarter’s result was a good start. In addition after a slow start to the quarter our Food + Beverage segment’s sales gained momentum as the quarter progressed.”
Second quarter sales are also likely to be impacted by weak foreign currencies, Hagge claimed.
“The weak foreign currency environment should continue to be a significant headwind on our translated results. Recent near-term macro-economic forecasts point to deceleration in the developing regions and there remains some uncertainty around the pace of growth in the US and Europe. However our level of project dialog with customers is good and we are optimistic that we will continue to drive growth through our targeted market approach with the industry’s broadest product portfolio.”
AptarGroup expects earnings per share for the second quarter to be in the range of $0.73 to $0.78 per share compared to $0.79 per share reported in the prior year.
First quarter earnings per share were US$0.70 compared to US$0.71 per share a year ago.