MeadWestvaco Corporation today announced stronger fourth quarter earnings from continuing operations of $68 million, or $0.40 per share ($0.41 ex-items) and record full-year earnings from continuing operations of $262 million, or $1.52 per share ($1.54 ex-items). Profit growth in the company’s Packaging and Specialty Chemicals businesses continued to drive MWV’s improved performance.
Combined profits of the company’s Packaging businesses were up 54 percent in the fourth quarter and up 38 percent for the full year, reflecting strong performance in global end-markets for retail food and liquid packaging, personal care dispensing solutions, home and garden trigger sprayers, and corrugated packaging serving the produce, meat and personal care markets in Brazil. The company’s overall financial performance was augmented by record fourth quarter and full-year results in Specialty Chemicals.
“We have transformed MWV into a company that is generating significantly higher returns on a consistent basis, and we’ve seen that reflected in our operating performance over the course of 2010,” said John A. Luke, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer. “Our record 2010 earnings are the direct result of the success we’ve had implementing focused strategies to increase profits in each of our targeted end-markets. With the transformative changes to our business model taking hold and giving us positive momentum to start 2011, we are focused on achieving the next level of performance by continuing to capitalize on the commercial and operating strengths we have built.”
Fourth Quarter and Full-Year Comparisons
Net income from continuing operations in the fourth quarter of 2010 was $68 million, or $0.40 per share, compared to $53 million, or $0.30 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2009. Sales in the fourth quarter of 2010 increased 3 percent to $1.50 billion. Net income from continuing operations in 2010 was $262 million, or $1.52 per share, compared to $240 million, or $1.38 per share, in 2009. Sales in 2010 increased 5 percent to $5.69 billion.
Adjusted earnings from continuing operations in the fourth quarter of 2010 excluding the effects of special items were $71 million, or $0.41 per share, compared to $35 million, or $0.20 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2009. Adjusted earnings from continuing operations in 2010 excluding the effects of special items were $267 million, or $1.54 per share, compared to $139 million, or $0.80 per share, in 2009. Items excluded in the measures of adjusted earnings from continuing operations and adjusted per share amounts are presented in the “Use of Non- GAAP Measures” section of this release.
On November 27, 2010, MWV agreed to sell its envelope products business for an undisclosed amount. The sale is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011, subject to regulatory approval. For the current and prior periods, the company is reporting this business as a discontinued operation in the consolidated financial statements. The envelope products business was previously included in the Consumer & Office Products segment. Results from discontinued operations also include the media and entertainment packaging business that was sold on September 30, 2010. The media and entertainment packaging business was previously included in the Consumer Solutions segment.