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Glass Industry News

O-I REPORTS THIRD QUARTER 2017 RESULTS

Owens-Illinois, Inc. (NYSE: OI) reported financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2017.

For the third quarter, earnings from continuing operations were $0.77 per share (diluted), up 13 percent compared with $0.68 per share in 2016, primarily driven by improved segment operating profit in Europe and Latin America, and lower interest and tax expense.

Net sales were $1.8 billion, an increase of almost 5 percent compared to the prior year third quarter, primarily due to favorable currency translation. Price increased 1 percent on a global basis, while shipments were on par with the prior year.

Earnings from continuing operations before income taxes were $172 million, an increase of 12 percent compared with the same period in 2016.

Segment operating profit of reportable segments[1] for the third quarter of 2017 was $260 million, an increase of 10 percent compared with prior year. Notable gains were reported in Europe and Latin America which more than compensated for external weakness in North America. Europe benefited from a favorable sales mix, a currency tailwind and the receipt of an energy credit, as expected. The increase in Latin America was driven by a 7 percent increase in shipments including double-digit gains in Brazil and a reduction in total systems cost.

Strategic initiatives in commercial programs and end-to-end supply chain management continue to generate benefits as planned. Total systems cost improvements generated approximately $8 million in cost savings during the third quarter.

With respect to full year guidance, the Company is narrowing its range for earnings and reaffirming its target for cash flow.

The Company agreed to expand its 50-50 joint venture with Constellation Brands. The joint venture operates a glass container production plant in Nava, Mexico that provides bottles exclusively for Constellation's adjacent brewery. The newly-expanded relationship provides for the addition of a fifth furnace at the plant and extends the term of the joint venture agreement ten years, to 2034.

"We are seeing significant progress on O-I's transformation to deliver increased sustainable shareholder value as we continue to execute on our strategy with focus, discipline and accountability," said Andres Lopez, CEO. "Our rigorous approach is implemented by an entire organization focused on maximizing performance at the enterprise level and incentivized under a single set of metrics. In the quarter, O-I demonstrated its resiliency in the face of well-known, challenging external conditions in the Americas by delivering a seventh consecutive quarter of earnings results in line with, or exceeding, our guidance."

Commenting on the strategic partnership with Constellation, Andres Lopez continued, "We are excited about the growth that will be enabled through our continued and expanded relationship with Constellation.  This investment will allow both companies to realize additional attractive opportunities in Mexican beer exports to the U.S, leveraging the success at the joint venture's highly-efficient factory in Nava, while bolstering O-I's relationship with a key strategic customer."

Third Quarter 2017 Results

Net sales in the third quarter of 2017 were $1.8 billion, an increase of almost 5 percent compared to the prior year third quarter. On a global basis, the improvement in net sales was due to a 1 percent increase in price and favorable currency translation.

In the third quarter, in Latin America, sales volumes increased 5 percent from the prior year mainly due to higher beer and spirits shipments. Shipments in Mexico continue to increase at mid-single digit rates and shipments in Brazil are up markedly, providing further evidence of recovery.

Sales volume in Asia Pacific increased 5 percent in the third quarter, primarily due to higher beer shipments in Australia. In Europe, sales volumes increased 1 percent mainly due to favorable product mix as shipments were flat. Consistent with ongoing trends, North America sales volume declined due to lower shipments, primarily in beer.

The Company continues to mitigate the impact of the ongoing decline in megabeer in the U.S. by positioning itself to benefit from the growing market of U.S. beer imports through its joint venture with Constellation Brands and long-term sales contracts in Mexico. This position has been strengthened through today's announcement regarding the extension and further expansion of this joint venture.

The Company continues to make solid progress on executing its strategic initiatives. The Company's focus on total systems cost contributed approximately $8 million in cost savings in the third quarter, leading to a year-to-date total of $26 million.

Segment operating profit was $260 million in the third quarter, 10 percent higher than the prior year third quarter.                                            

Europe reported segment operating profit of $81 million, which was $17 million, or 27 percent, higher than the prior year quarter. Much of the increase was due to the receipt of an energy credit in third quarter of 2017, as expected, whereas Europe received a similar energy credit in the fourth quarter of the prior year. Setting aside the energy credit, Europe is performing well, driven by a favorable sales mix, the benefits of strategic initiatives and the positive impact of currency translation.

Segment operating profit for North America was $75 million in the quarter, a decline of $4 million compared with the third quarter of 2016. Cost inflation was essentially offset by price in the quarter. Lower sales volume, primarily in beer, reduced segment operating profit by $9 million compared to the prior year. Joint venture equity earnings and benefits from total system costs initiatives favorably impacted third quarter performance.

Latin America reported segment operating profit of $84 million, exceeding the prior year quarter by $10 million or almost 14 percent. The region benefitted by $5 million from the increase in sales volumes, primarily in Brazil and Mexico. Favorable currency translation added $3 million compared to the prior year quarter. Inflation in the quarter was essentially recovered by price. The region continues to benefit from successfully addressing total systems costs.

Segment operating profit in Asia Pacific was $20 million, similar to the third quarter of the prior year. Asia Pacific benefited from increased sales volumes, while higher prices compensated for inflation in the quarter. To meet customers' evolving demand, the region has been undertaking more intra-regional and cross-regional shipments, leading to higher supply chain costs.

Corporate and other costs were $25 million in the third quarter, in line with amounts reported in the first half of the year.

Deleveraging and refinancing actions over the past 12 months are yielding tangible benefits to the bottom line.  Net interest expense in the quarter was $63 million, down $3 million from the third quarter of 2016.

The Company reported third quarter 2017 earnings of $0.77 per share (diluted), exceeding management's guidance of $0.70 to $0.75 per share, and 13 percent higher than in the third quarter of 2016.

Expansion of Strategic Joint Venture with Constellation Brands

The Company has agreed to expand its 50-50 joint venture with Constellation Brands, Inc. The joint venture, established in 2014, operates a glass container production plant in Nava, Mexico. The plant provides bottles exclusively for Constellation's adjacent brewery, which brews a leading portfolio of Mexican beer brands for export to the United States, the fastest growing category in beer in the U.S.

The original joint venture agreement included the expansion of the glass production plant from one furnace to four furnaces by 2018. The initial expansion plans have been progressing as scheduled, with three furnaces currently in operation. The fourth furnace is expected to be operational in the first half of 2018.

To meet rising demand from Constellation's adjacent brewery, the newly-expanded relationship provides for the addition of a fifth furnace, which is expected to be operational by the end of 2019. Following the installation of the fifth furnace, the Nava plant will be the largest, most modern glass container factory in the world.

This capacity expansion, which is estimated to cost approximately $140 million, will be financed by equal contributions from both partners.

In recognition of the strong, value-add contributions from both partners, the term of the joint venture agreement was extended for ten additional years, to 2034.

Outlook

The Company continues to de-risk its pension plans. In the fourth quarter of 2017, the Company intends to annuitize more of its pension plans in North America, which is expected to result in non-cash charges in excess of $100 million.

The Company expects reported earnings from continuing operations attributable to the company (diluted) for the full year 2017 to be in the range of $0.90 to $1.86 per share, which largely reflects variability with respect to the aforementioned pension settlement charges.

Excluding certain items that management considers not representative of ongoing operations, adjusted earnings per share[2] for full year 2017 are expected to be in the range of $2.60 to $2.65, which narrows prior guidance, while modestly increasing the midpoint.

The Company continues to expect cash provided by continuing operating activities for 2017 to be approximately $750 million and adjusted free cash flow[3] to be approximately $365 million. The earnings and cash flow guidance ranges reflect uncertainty in macroeconomic conditions and currency rates, among other external factors.

Conference Call Scheduled for Oct. 24, 2017
O-I CEO Andres Lopez and CFO Jan Bertsch will conduct a conference call to discuss the Company's latest results on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017, at 8:00 a.m. EDT. A live webcast of the conference call, including presentation materials, will be available on the O-I website,
www.o-i.com/investors, in the Webcasts and Presentations section.

The conference call also may be accessed by dialing 888-733-1701 (U.S. and Canada) or 706-634-4943 (international) by 7:50 a.m. EDT, on Oct. 24. Ask for the O-I conference call. A replay of the call will be available on the O-I website, www.o-i.com/investors, for a year following the call.

Contact:          Sasha Sekpeh, 567-336-5128 - O-I Investor Relations
Kristin Kelley, 567-336-2395 - O-I Corporate Communications

O-I news releases are available on the O-I website at www.o-i.com.

O-I's fourth quarter 2017 earnings conference call is currently scheduled for Wednesday, February 7, 2018, at 8:00 a.m. EST.

26.10.2017, Owens-Illinois, Inc

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