Business

Sunday 21 January 2018

Acquisition helps lift Ardagh quarterly earnings to €299m

Ardagh chairman Paul Coulson rings the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange as the packaging giant’s shares are listed. Photo: AP Photo/Richard Drew
Ardagh chairman Paul Coulson rings the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange as the packaging giant’s shares are listed. Photo: AP Photo/Richard Drew
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Packaging giant Ardagh - which floated on the New York Stock Exchange last month - has posted adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) of €299m for the first quarter of the year, a 38pc increase.

Revenue rose 51pc to €1.8bn, with pro-forma growth of 2pc.

The surge in reported earnings and revenue during the first quarter came after Ardagh completed its biggest-ever acquisition last year.

It paid $3bn (€2.7bn) to buy assets sold by rivals Ball Corporation and Rexam as part of Ball's $6.1bn (€5.6bn) acquisition of Rexam. The assets Ardagh acquired are based in the US, Brazil and Europe.

Since then, Ardagh has been focusing on reducing its debt burden, and used the initial public offering (IPO) proceeds to help do that.

It also refinanced $3bn (€2.7bn) of debt in the first quarter, reducing its interest rates and payments.

Ardagh is one of the world's biggest packaging groups and is headed by executive chairman Paul Coulson. It has its roots in Irish Glass.

The IPO saw Ardagh sell almost 8pc of the company and raise net proceeds of $319m (€293m). It's using those proceeds for the partial redemption of senior secured notes that are due in 2022.

At the end of March, Ardagh had net debt of €7.1bn.

The company said that revenue at its European metal packaging business rose 79pc to €688m in the first quarter, with the growth reflecting the assets acquired last year. Organic growth contributed 3pc, or €19m, to the growth. That was offset by a negative €10m currency translation effect. Adjusted ebitda at the unit rose 76pc to €104m, also boosted by the acquisition.

Irish Independent

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