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Bemis' CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Before we begin, I'd like to remind everyone that statements regarding future performance of the company made in this teleconference are forward-looking and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from historical, expected or projected results due to a variety of factors, including currency fluctuations, changes in raw material costs and availability, industry competition, unexpected consumer buying trends, changes in customer order patterns, our ability to pass along increased costs in our selling prices, unexpected costs related to our facility consolidation program, changes in government regulatory requirements, interest rate fluctuations and regional economic conditions. A more complete list of risk factors is included in our regular SEC filings, including the most recently filed Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011.

Now I'll turn the call over to Henry Theisen.

Henry J. Theisen

Good morning. My comments today will address the current market environment, what we expect for the rest of this year and our progress on initiatives to improve profitability and return on invested capital.

With respect to the current market environment, the generally weak levels of demand that we experienced during the second half of 2011 has continued into 2012 as expected. There are pockets of growth in certain product areas, but overall demand is reflecting careful buying at grocery stores and some trading down by customers to less expensive options that may not use flexible packaging.

That said, the growth initiatives of our customers include promotions, as well as new product extensions to be launched in a flexible format. We're also starting to see new business ramp up, which should help to boost volumes during the second half of the year.

During the first quarter, our suppliers announced a number of raw material cost increases. None of these increases is of the magnitude that we saw during the first half of 2011. But they will put modest pressure on operating margins in the second and third quarters until all selling prices can be adjusted.

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