MeadWestvaco Corporation (NYSE: MWV), a global leader in packaging and packaging solutions, reported increased sales and earnings for the fourth quarter of 2013 on a continuing operations basis compared to the prior year. Growth in targeted packaging and specialty chemicals markets, as well as improved pricing and operational performance, drove the better results. The company continued to gain share with food and beverage brand owners and grew volumes in higher value dispensing solutions, including gains in medical plastics, fragrance pumps and personal care dispensers. Sales and earnings growth in the Industrial segment was driven by higher pricing and the sustained achievement of targeted productivity goals, while the Specialty Chemicals segment continued to see steady growth across its offerings for the global asphalt, oilfield and activated carbon markets.
“The revenue and earnings improvement we saw this quarter is the result of solid commercial and operational execution across each of our businesses,” said John A. Luke, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer, MWV. “Our growth strategy has generated momentum in targeted packaging and specialty chemicals markets. We are now focused on accelerating profitability, with actions designed to reduce complexity, realign our corporate infrastructure and focus participation strategies and investments on the highest return opportunities. We are confident that we will see great progress in each of these areas, leading to higher earnings and cash flow this year.”
Fourth Quarter and Full-Year Comparison
Sales from continuing operations in the fourth quarter of 2013 were $1.32 billion, up 3 percent from 2012. Income from continuing operations attributable to the company in the fourth quarter of 2013 was $213 million or $1.18 per share, compared to a loss of $5 million or $0.02 per share in 2012.Sales from continuing operations attributable to the company in full-year 2013 were $5.40 billion, up 2 percent from 2012. Income from continuing operations attributable to the company in full-year 2013 was $324 million or $1.80 per share, compared to $153 million or $0.87 per share in 2012.