Sunday 24 September 2017

Ardagh Group generates €203m profit

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

THE Luxembourg holding company for international glass container maker Ardagh – which is controlled by chairman Paul Coulson – notched up a €203m profit last year, down from €260m in 2011.

Ardagh Group SA, which is unlimited, does not make available detailed publicly accessible accounts. However, the group's Ardagh Packaging Holdings unit, which is registered in Ireland, issues regular updates for bondholders.

Accounts for that company indicate that it generated revenue of €4.1bn in 2012, down from €4.04bn in 2011.

Total earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) at Ardagh Packaging dipped to €679m from €687m a year earlier.

Ardagh Packaging's revenue is equally split between its glass and metal manufacturing operations.

Metal packaging accounted for €267m of total EBITDA and glass packaging for €412m.

The most recent quarterly figures, for the first three months of 2013, show that revenue was flat at €961.4m, while EBITDA declined 12.5pc to €142.2m.

Ardagh is thought to be preparing for a stock-market flotation in the United States later this year.

A previous intention to float was postponed in 2011 due to market turmoil.

It is expected that Ardagh will be valued at at least €3bn.

That will value Mr Coulson's 36pc share in the group at just over €1bn, making him one of the country's richest people.

PACKAGING

Senior management, including chief executive Niall Wall, are also set to reap the benefits of a flotation.

Mr Wall has a 9.5pc stake in the business, which is likely to be worth close to €300m, while former chief executive Eddie Kilty has a 3.45pc stake, worth about €103m based on a €3bn valuation.

Mr Coulson and his team have significantly expanded Ardagh's global footprint via a number of large acquisitions.

Earlier this year, Ardagh finalised the €1.3bn acquisition of St Gobain's Veralia business in North America.

In 2010, it bought the packaging firm Impress for €1.7bn. Last year, it paid €721m to buy packaging group Boxal and in 2011 it also spent €125m in order to acquire the Italian firm Finanziaria di Partecipazioni Industriali.

The latest set of financial details filed in Luxembourg for Ardagh Group show the profits it records are largely due to complicated share transactions involving group companies, including Ardagh Packaging.

Irish Independent

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