Crown Holdings CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Crown Holdings (CCK)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

July 19, 2012 09:00 AM ET


Timothy Donahue - EVP & CFO

John Conway - President & CEO


Philip Ng - Jefferies

Phil Gresh - JPMC

Matt Wooten - Robert W. Baird

Mark Wilde - Deustche Bank

George Staphos - Banc of America/Merrill Lynch

Al Kabili - Credit Suisse

Alex Ovshey - Goldman Sachs

Chip Dillon - Vertical Research Partners

Chris Manuel - Wells Fargo Securities

Adam Josephson - KeyBank

Scott Gaffner - Barclays

Todd Wenning – Morningstar



Good morning and welcome to the Crown Holdings Second Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. (Operator Instructions). I would now like to turn the call over to Mr. Timothy Donahue, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Donahue you may begin.

Timothy Donahue

Thank you Shirley and good morning everyone. Welcome to Crown Holdings second quarter 2012 conference call. With me on the call today are John Conway, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; and Tom Kelly, Senior Vice President, Finance.

Before we begin, I would like to point out that on this call, as in the earnings release, we will be making a number of forward-looking statements. Actual results could vary materially from such statements. Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to vary is contained in the press release and in our SEC filings, including comments in the section titled Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in Form 10-K for 2011 and in subsequent filings.

A reconciliation of generally accepted accounting principles to non- generally accepted accounting principles earnings can be found in our earnings release. And if you do not already have the earnings release, it is available on the Company's website at You will also find a reconciliation from net income to EBITDA, credit ratio computations, and supplemental cash flow data on the Company's website.

I will first review the quarter and update guidance for the year. John will have some comments and then we will open the call for questions. Diluted earnings per share were $0.89 compared to $0.83 in last year’s second quarter on a comparable basis, diluted earnings were $0.84 per share in both the second quarter of 2012 and 2011.

For the six months comparable diluted earnings per share were a $1.30 against $1.32 in 2011. All businesses were above met or were close to expectations in the first half and we remain confident in the full year.

Demand in Europe continues to be weak due to well-known ongoing economic issues and to very poor weather. Overall, European unit volume sales were 3% lower in the second quarter compared to 11.

Demand in our European beverage business was firm and slightly ahead of the prior year but was offset by lower unit volume sales in three-piece steel packaging, that is food can enclosures, aerosol cans and specialty packaging. Our business which is resilient but not immune economic conditions reflects the continued weakness in Europe. We had planned for much of this weakness and early in the year adjusted our production schedules to reduce inventory.

On a currency neutral basis net sales were level to the prior year as higher global beverage can sales were offset by lower unit volume sales in European three-piece steel packaging. The strength in U.S. dollar relative to the Mexican Peso, Euro, Pound, Sterling and Canadian Dollar had the effect of reducing sales by 110 million in the quarter. Our review of revenue by segment will be on a currency neutral basis and the unfavorable currency impact by segment was as follows, 7 million in the Americas beverage segment, $2 million in North American food, 30 million in European beverage, 47 million in European food, 10 million in specialty packaging and 5 million in non-reportable.

In Americas Beverage, revenue increased 1.5% over the prior year with overall volume in the segment up by the same 1.5% figure. Volume in Brazil continued to be strong and was up 21% over the prior year second quarter offsetting a 1.9% decline in North America. The overall Brazilian market was up 5.5% in the second quarter over the prior year and our share gain is the result of capacity additions in both 12-ounce and specialty can sizes made in the first half of last year in the growing regions of the North East and in the South.

Sales units volume in North American food were down 5% in the quarter but for the six months remained 1.5% ahead of last year. As we discussed in April there was some customer pull ahead into the first quarter and we had expected the strong first quarter volume performance to balance out over the course of the year.

Cost reductions from last year’s restructuring activities helped plan operating performance productivity and profitability continue their improvement over the prior year. On a currency neutral basis, sales in European beverage were level to the prior year as unit volume growth in the United Kingdom, Dubai and Saudi Arabia offset weakness in France and Spain.

The result of ongoing economic uncertainty and adverse weather in North West Europe. Segment income was down 6 million in the quarter and reflects unfavorable currency translation of 2 million and lower production levels.

Sales in European food were down 5.5% ex-currency in the quarter. Volumes were down 1% as some crops were weather delayed and are now been packed in July notably piece in the UK. Currency translation reduced segment income by 5 million in the quarter with the operating shortfall, the result of lower production activity and unfavorable product and location mix. That is less large diameter cans, more small diameter cans and production activity been lower in our much larger more efficient plants notably in France and Italy.

In specialty packaging, revenues were down due to lower overall demands. Segment income reflects the lower sales activity and 1 million of currency translation which was almost fully offset by cost reductions. Demand continued strong throughout Asia during the second quarter with beverage can sales volumes up 29% over the prior year as new plants in Heshan, China and Putian, China and the second line in Phnom Penh, Cambodia all contributed.

Global aerosol can volume was down 4% mainly reflecting the weak conditions in Europe were again, we have adjusted our production activity. In the second quarter we began commercial beverage can production in Ziyang, the third beverage can plant we have commissioned in China alone over the last 12 months. Production of beverage can ends in Heshan Guangdong Province also commenced in the second quarter and in two weeks we will begin can production in the Heshan plant.

At this time we still expect double digit beverage can growth in 2012 over 2011. In 2010, we initiated a sizeable global capacity expansion program focused on the emerging markets principally Brazil, China and South East Asia, announcing total capacity additions of more than 14 billion beverage cans.

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