CANADA – Québec-based sustainable packaging company Cascades has reported C$1.16bn (US$868.5m) in sales in the second quarter (Q2) of financial 2023 (FY23), up from C$1.11bn (US$829.32m) in the corresponding period in FY22.

The company registered an operating income of C$64m (US$47.82m) in Q2 FY23, compared to C$32m (US$23.91m) in Q2 FY22 and its earnings per common share were C$0.22, up from C$0.10 in Q2 FY22.

Its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were C$141m (US$105.35m) in Q2 FY23. Cascades posted an operating loss of C$16m (US$11.95m) in the first half (H1) of FY23.

The company reported C$2.30bn (US$1.72bn) in sales in the period ending 30 June 2023, compared to C$2.15bn (US$1.61bn) in the same period in FY22.

Net earnings (loss) attributable to shareholders in H1 FY23 was C$53m (US$39.60m) and its basic and diluted net loss per common share was C$0.53 in H1 FY23.

The company’s net debt widened from C$1.71bn (US$1.28bn) on 30 June 2022 to C$2.07bn (US$1.55bn) as of 30 June FY23.

Cascades president and CEO Mario Plourde said: “We had a solid second quarter, with consolidated sales and EBITDA levels increasing 4% and 55%, respectively, year-over-year.

“Results were driven by the Tissue Papers segment, which had its strongest performance since Q2 2020, reflecting benefits from commercial and operational initiatives.”

Plourde said that the repositioning of Cascade’s Tissue Papers platform announced at the end of April 2023 progressed as planned in the second quarter, with the closures completed as scheduled in June and July.

“We anticipate that these decisions, combined with the ongoing productivity optimization initiatives, which are also progressing as expected, will continue to strengthen the performance of our Tissue Papers business going forward,” he said.

“Slightly softer results in the Containerboard segment largely reflect lower index-linked selling prices, the effects of which more than offset the beneficial effect of lower raw material costs.

“As expected, Containerboard results include costs related to Bear Island as the facility continues to be ramped up.”

Ball sales in Q2 FY23 dip 13.7%

Meanwhile, American multinational packaging company Ball Corporation has reported net earnings of US$173m in the second quarter (Q2) of 2023 against a loss of US$174m in Q2 2022.

The net sales for the quarter, which ended on 30 June 2023, decreased by 13.7% to US$3.56bn, as against US$4.13bn in the prior year’s Q2.

For the reported quarter, the highest net sales of US$1.53bn, were recorded in Ball’s Beverage Packaging business in North and Central America. This shows a decline of 13.4% within the business segment from US$1.77bn in Q2 2022.

The company has attributed this decline in its Beverage Packaging segment to lower shipments as well as a ‘contractual pass-through of lower aluminium costs’, which was favorably offset by incremental inflation recovery in the region.

The company’s net sales in its Beverage Packaging segment in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region also declined from US$1.13bn in Q2 2022 to US$920m this year.

Net sales in Ball’s Beverage Packaging segment in South America also decreased to US$405m from US$534m in the previous year.

Ball CEO and chair Daniel W Fisher said: “Maximizing returns, improving free cash conversion, driving organic growth by leveraging sustainability and innovation tailwinds and being good stewards of our capital are our core areas of focus.

“Despite higher interest costs, year-to-date demand trends and the Russian business divestment headwind, the potential remains for us to achieve our long-term comparable diluted earnings per share growth goal of 10% to 15%, improve EVA [economic value added] generation, and increase cash flow to deleverage and return value to shareholders in 2023 and beyond.”

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