Local Business

AptarGroup’s 4Q sales increase 12 percent

CRYSTAL LAKE – AptarGroup reported record fourth quarter and annual sales Thursday.

Sales increased 12 percent in the fourth quarter to $637 million from $571 million a year ago.

For the year, sales increased 8 percent to a record $2.5 billion, up from $2.3 billion last year.

“[Thursday] we reported a strong finish to the year,” AptarGroup President and CEO Stephen Hagge said during a Friday conference call. “Broad-based increases in demand for our innovative dispensing solutions pushed sales to a record level for the fourth quarter. Sales were up in each end market we serve.”

He added, “Equally encouraging, we grew sales in each geographic region.”

The Crystal Lake-based company reported growth across each of its segments. Beauty and Home grew 7 percent, Pharma grew 16 percent and Food and Beverage grew 26 percent.

Reported earnings per share increased 4 percent in the fourth quarter to $0.54 from $0.52 in the prior year.

AptarGroup’s European restructuring plan had a negative impact on earnings per share of about $0.05 in the quarter. The company also recorded a negative impact of about $0.10 per share stemming from French tax regulations enacted at the end of the fourth quarter that were retroactive to the beginning of the year.

For the year, AptarGroup reported earnings per share increased 6 percent to $2.52 compared with $2.38 a year ago.

Looking forward, Hagge said he is “encouraged by the level of project dialog we have with customers across each of our segments and we expect improved results in the first quarter compared to the prior year. However, the challenging currency environment, especially in Latin America and Southeast Asia, is expected to continue. We are also facing higher tax rates compared to a year ago.”

The company said it expects earnings per share for the first quarter to be in the range of $0.65 to $0.70 per share, compared with $0.64 per share reported in the prior year, excluding costs associated with the restructuring plan (of about $0.05 per share).

AptarGroup is a global supplier of dispensing systems for the beauty, personal care, home care, pharmaceutical, food and beverage markets.

The company’s stock closed Friday at $63.49, up $0.99 or 1.6 percent.

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