NEW YORK Ball Corp. logged a slight uptick in revenue in the fourth quarter, and the company expects continued growth despite "pricing headwinds in Asia" and the loss of 12-ounce-can production in North America.
The Broomfield, Colo.-based manufacturer posted net income of $60.6 million for the three months ended Dec. 31, down 21.8 percent from $77.5 million in the same period a year earlier despite a 3-percent increase in sales to more than $2.11 billion.
"Excellent operating performance offset increased manufacturing costs, and strong demand for specialty packaging continued in North America and Brazil," the company said.
The company completed the closure of its 12-ounce beverage can plant in Columbus, Ohio, a move aimed at aligning supply with demand, Ball said. The company also expanded its specialty packaging capabilities in North America.
Earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit) in the companys Americas and Asia metal beverage packaging segment totaled $138 million in the fourth quarter, up 15.1 percent from a year earlier. Asia results were flat on single-digit volume declines in the same comparison due to a focus on capacity alignment in a challenging pricing environment, Ball said.
"Contributions from our growth investments, excellent execution by our operations and strategic actions taken to align our supply with market demand led to Balls improved results," president and chief executive officer John A. Hayes said.