Net sales in the fourth quarter were up 1.7 per cent to $1,949m compared to the equivalent period last year. A $45m decrease attributable to unfavourable currency translation took part of the sheen off a strong set of volume figures.
Strong volume growth
Global beverage can volumes were particularly impressive, growing 13 per cent while food can volumes rose 5 per cent.
Crown CEO John W. Conway said: “Performance improvement accelerated in the fourth quarter in emerging markets reflecting growing demand and increasing output from recent capacity additions.”
But despite the improvements on the top line, Crown endured a sharp dip in fourth quarter profits – largely as a result of a tax benefit in the 2009 figures. Operating profits were more impressive, increasing 28.7 per cent to $184m on the back of higher volumes and productivity improvements.
The figures for Q4 took net sales at Crown to $7,941m for the full year, up just slightly on the previous year. And yearly operating income rose to $890m from $812m in 2009 while net income dipped from $334m to $324m.
Expansion plans for 2011
In 2011 Crown intends to build on existing expansion work in emerging markets and further extend its manufacturing footprint.
Conway said: “We expect a busy and promising 2011. Our expansion projects are on schedule and budget with three new plants and four new line additions at existing plants expected to be commercialised during the year in exciting growth markets around the world.
“We have also announced four new plants scheduled to begin production during 2012.”
Crown spokesperson Michael Dunleavy said the company is planning to open two plants in China and one in Brazil in 2011. And the following year it has two more plants planned in China, one in Brazil and another in Turkey.