Ball Corporation (NYSE: BALL) today reported, on a U.S. GAAP basis, third quarter 2022 net earnings attributable to the corporation of $392 million (including a net after-tax gain of $154 million, or 49 cents per diluted share for business consolidation and other non-comparable items, including the gain on disposal for the Russian beverage packaging operations) or diluted earnings per share of $1.24, on sales of $3.95 billion, compared to $179 million net earnings attributable to the corporation, or 54 cents per diluted share (including net after-tax charges of $134 million, or 40 cents per diluted share for business consolidation and other non-comparable items) on sales of $3.55 billion in 2021. Results for the first nine months of 2022 were net earnings attributable to the corporation of $664 million, or $2.07 per diluted share, on sales of $11.80 billion compared to $581 million, or $1.75 per diluted share, on sales of $10.14 billion for the first nine months of 2021.
Ball’s third quarter and year-to-date 2022 comparable diluted earnings per share were 75 cents and $2.34, respectively, versus third quarter and year-to-date 2021 comparable diluted earnings per share of 94 cents and $2.52, respectively. The impact of unfavorable foreign exchange translation on comparable net earnings was 3 cents per diluted share in third quarter of 2022, and 7 cents per diluted share for the first nine months of 2022.
Details of segment comparable operating earnings, business consolidation and other activities, business segment descriptions and other non-comparable items can be found in the notes to the unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements that accompany this news release. References to volume data represent units shipped except where specifically referenced otherwise. Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2022, year-over-year global and EMEA segment volume data will exclude the impact of the Russian beverage can business sale completed in third quarter of 2022.
“Our year-to-date comparable net earnings reflect resilient global demand for our sustainable aluminum beverage and personal care packaging solutions, up 3.2 percent and 11.2 percent, respectively, and solid aerospace segment performance, offset by inflation and unfavorable foreign exchange translation headwinds. During the quarter, we proactively prepared the business for continued macroeconomic volatility by executing a comprehensive fixed and variable cost-out plan. In 2023, the cost-out plan benefits of at least $150 million will more than offset the loss of operating earnings from the recently divested Russian beverage can business and will be complemented by net contractual inflationary cost pass through across all of our packaging businesses throughout 2023 and beyond. Our recent actions will reinforce Ball’s durable growth characteristics, significantly improve our cost structure, maximize cash and EVA generation, and improve our financial performance in 2023 and beyond,” said Daniel W. Fisher, president and CEO.
Beverage Packaging, North and Central America
Beverage packaging, North and Central America, segment comparable operating earnings for the third quarter 2022 were $205 million on sales of $1.80 billion compared to $186 million on sales of $1.52 billion during the same period in 2021. For the first nine months, segment comparable operating earnings were $543 million on sales of $5.18 billion compared to $519 million on sales of $4.34 billion during the same period in 2021. Year-over-year sales reflect the contractual pass through of higher aluminum costs.
Third quarter segment comparable operating earnings improved year-over-year due to higher volume offset by the impact of higher manufacturing and inflationary costs and unfavorable customer mix. Segment volumes increased 2.5 percent in the third quarter and aluminum beverage packaging continues to be more resilient than other substrates. Despite this favorable trend, customer demand continues to be lower than expectations driven by higher year-over-year retail prices impacting consumer demand, particularly in the U.S.
In response to lower than expected near-term demand and to optimize low-cost production across our North American manufacturing footprint, during the quarter the company announced permanently ceasing production at the company’s Phoenix, Arizona, and St. Paul, Minnesota, facilities, in the fourth quarter of 2022, and the first quarter of 2023, respectively, resulting in approximately $65 million of fixed cost savings largely in 2023 and beyond.
Beverage Packaging, EMEA
Beverage packaging, EMEA, segment comparable operating earnings for third quarter 2022 were $82 million on sales of $1.03 billion compared to $125 million on sales of $937 million during the same period in 2021. For the first nine months, segment comparable operating earnings were $311 million on sales of $3.11 billion compared to $349 million on sales of $2.64 billion during the same period in 2021. Year-over-year sales reflect higher shipments and the contractual pass through of higher aluminum costs offset by unfavorable foreign exchange translation and the sale of the Russian operations during the third quarter of 2022. Historical results for the Russian operations will continue to be reflected in beverage packaging, EMEA segment results. See Note 1 “Business Segment Information” for additional information about the sale agreement and historical results.
Third quarter segment comparable operating earnings decreased versus the same period in 2021 and reflect 5.5 percent segment volume growth being more than offset by unfavorable currency translation, the impact of higher inflation, energy costs and supply chain disruptions across the region and unfavorable year-over-year performance in the Russian business ahead of the sale. Packaging mix shift to aluminum cans supported by ongoing packaging legislation in certain countries continues to be a driver of aluminum beverage packaging growth. Given strong regional demand, the construction of new beverage can manufacturing facilities in the U.K. and Czech Republic remain on track and will enable further growth for sustainable aluminum beverage packaging across the region. Projects are supported by long-term contracts with improved contractual terms and conditions. In advance of new production coming online in EMEA, imports from the company’s joint venture beverage can manufacturing facility in Saudi Arabia supplemented existing production capabilities across Europe during the quarter.
Beverage Packaging, South America
Beverage packaging, South America, segment comparable operating earnings for third quarter 2022 were $67 million on sales of $466 million compared to $74 million on sales of $462 million in 2021. For the first nine months, comparable segment operating earnings were $197 million on sales of $1.49 billion compared to $245 million on sales of $1.40 billion during the same period in 2021. Year-over-year sales reflect lower revenue recognition volumes, the contractual pass through of higher aluminum costs and regional price/mix. Third quarter segment comparable operating earnings decreased year-over-year and reflect unfavorable regional customer/product mix and fixed cost absorption in Brazil.
Demand trends across the company’s South American operations remain favorable as we enter the summer selling season and shipments during the third quarter were up 5.2 percent. During the quarter, the company permanently ceased operations at its Santa Cruz, Brazil, beverage can manufacturing facility to further optimize low-cost production across our broad Brazilian manufacturing footprint. This action will generate approximately $10 million of fixed cost savings and aid supply/demand balance across Brazil.
Aerospace segment comparable operating earnings for third quarter 2022 were $47 million on sales of $477 million compared to $46 million on sales of $498 million in 2021. Third quarter backlog reached $3.0 billion, and contracts won, but not yet booked into backlog, ended the quarter at $4.6 billion. For the first nine months, segment comparable operating earnings were $126 million on sales of $1.47 billion compared to $115 million on sales of $1.38 billion during the same period in 2021.
Third quarter segment comparable operating earnings reflect solid execution on existing and new programs offset by supply chain inefficiencies. The segment continues to leverage its talent, manufacturing and test capabilities, engineering, and support workspace to secure additional defense, climate change and Earth-monitoring contracts to provide mission-critical programs and technologies to U.S. government, defense, intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance customers.
In mid-November, the joint NASA and NOAA Earth observation JPSS-2 satellite with the Ball-built OMPS (Ozone Mapping Profiler Suite) is scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base. Ball’s contributions to the JPSS series of satellites reinforces our commitment to delivering extreme weather data, weather forecasts and ozone measurements to develop climate models and monitor global ozone and atmospheric temperature. Because of its wide swath, the satellite will observe every spot on Earth at least twice daily.
In addition to undistributed corporate expenses, the results for the company’s global aluminum aerosol business, beverage can manufacturing facilities in India, Saudi Arabia and Myanmar and investments in the company’s aluminum cup business continue to be reported in other non-reportable.
Third quarter 2022 results reflect higher year-over-year undistributed corporate expenses, higher aluminum cup demand in food service channels, 12.2 percent volume growth for extruded aluminum bottles and aerosol containers and 46.7 percent volume growth in the other non-reportable beverage can manufacturing facilities where certain production is being exported to support EMEA segment demand prior to new capital projects coming online in 2022. During the quarter, the company’s global aluminum aerosol customers continued to pursue next generation lightweight sustainable personal care packaging solutions and the company entered an alliance with Boomerang Water to expand usage of refillable aluminum bottled water at closed-loop venues.
“We are focused on cost, cash and capital management. The successful completion of the Russian business sale allows us to incrementally de-leverage and focus regional resources on improving operational performance. We are controlling the things we can control in today’s global economic and geopolitical environment. Demand continues to be quite resilient and supports the durability of our earnings and cash generation. We remain well-positioned for growth and returning value to shareholders,” said Scott C. Morrison, executive vice president and chief financial officer.
“We continue to actively manage our businesses through the lens of Drive for 10 and EVA to execute cost-out initiatives, ensure tight supply/demand balance across our global plant network and benefit from contractual inflationary cost recovery to achieve our long-term diluted earnings per share growth goal over time, generate cash and return value to shareholders. Our aluminum product portfolio and aerospace technologies and offerings remain resilient and bolster our prospects for improved sustainable performance in 2023 and the years ahead,” Fisher said.
AUTOCANADA ANNOUNCES PROMOTIONS AND EXPANDS LEADERSHIP TEAM
AutoCanada Inc. (“AutoCanada” or the “Company”) (TSX: ACQ), a multi-location North American automobile dealership group, announced key promotions and additions to its leadership team.
Jeff Thorpe, who joined the Company as President, Canadian Operations in April 2022, will have responsibility for all operations in North America as President, North American Operations. Brian Feldman, who joined as Senior Vice President, Canadian Operations and Disruptive Technologies in April 2022, has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer of the Company.
“Jeff and Brian have proven themselves over the last year and have been instrumental in driving our strong performance through their focus on operational initiatives in Canada. We are very pleased to provide Jeff with the increased responsibility of oversight over our U.S. operations, in addition to Canadian operations, and to appoint Brian as the Chief Operating Officer of the Company,” said Paul Antony, Executive Chairman of the Company.
In addition, Drew Forret will be appointed as Chief Administrative and Transformation Officer and Michael Fera will join as Vice President, Financial Planning and Analysis, each effective in the fourth quarter of 2023. These new roles will support the Company’s renewed focus on fiscal discipline.
“We are very excited to welcome Drew and Michael to the AutoCanada team. Drew and Michael’s significant and proven experience in driving high-performance business cultures with scalable best practices and fiscal discipline will be invaluable for AutoCanada as we continue on the next leg of our journey,” said Mr. Antony.
Drew has over 20 years of experience focusing on the leadership and scaling of growth-based organizations. He most recently held the position of Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Voices, a platform that connects businesses with professional voice talent. Prior to Voices, Drew was the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of CarProof, a provider of vehicle history reports, and President of Activplant, an originator of manufacturing intelligence software. Michael has over a decade of experience in financial planning and analysis. He joins us from Tim Hortons, Canada’s leading quick-service restaurant chain, where he served as Head of Finance for the Canadian business. In addition, Michael held several operational roles spanning development, franchising, non-traditional business and real estate during his tenure with Tim Hortons.
Huawei’s Brand-New Digital and Intelligent Foundation Upgrades Aviation and Rail Industries
SHANGHAI, Sept. 25, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — In parallel with HUAWEI CONNECT 2023, Huawei’s Aviation & Rail BU held three global summits specifically oriented to the BU’s niche.
Using an upgraded digital and intelligent foundation, Huawei dives deep into a wide variety of industry scenarios and expedites the intelligent development of aviation and rail through multi-dimensional awareness, ubiquitous connectivity, and open platforms.
China West Airport Group (CWAG) chose Huawei to jointly develop a comprehensive intelligent transformation strategy.
According to Lin Bin, CWAG’s Deputy General Manager, his company has created 35 intelligent solutions for security, operations, services, and other scenarios using Huawei’s high-performance computing power and open intelligent platforms, as well as advanced algorithms for the industry.
For airport operations, digital and intelligent ground handling solutions forecast the real-time status of flights, passengers, and resources, as well as promptly generating warnings. They also intelligently dispatch ground handlers as needed. The solutions increase ground support efficiency by 20% and shorten the time support takes by 17%. In addition, smart airport operation solutions have introduced the optimal flight plan result model to achieve best supply-demand matching and AI-assisted operation command.
Ever-evolving technologies have brought both challenges and opportunities to enterprise digital transformation and intelligent upgrade. Li Junfeng, Vice President of Huawei and CEO of Huawei’s Aviation & Rail BU, delivered an opening speech at the global railway summit. He explained that as GSM-R gradually exits the market, the railway industry requires a next-generation mobile communications system to ensure efficiency and benefits, as well as maintain high-quality development. In response, Huawei is thinking about how it can leverage AI to better serve the railway industry, and have built practices and made remarkable achievements during its journey.
Huawei teamed up with Huitie Technology to develop the Smart Railway TFDS Solution, which uses the Pangu Railway Model with 3 billion parameters. The solution covers all TFDS scenarios and effectively identifies over 430 types of faults on 67 vehicle models with a comprehensive fault identification rate exceeding 99.3%. It ensures near-zero missed inspections for critical faults and triples the operational efficiency.”
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Hexagon’s Sixth Sense Announces Nine Startups to Transform Manufacturing Sustainability and Digital Reality
Selected innovators leading the charge in reshaping manufacturing for a sustainable future
COBHAM, England, Sept. 25, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division announced the nine manufacturing startups chosen for its third Sixth Sense cohort. The selected companies were chosen from a highly competitive pool of hundreds of applicants, distinguishing themselves with groundbreaking solutions addressing critical manufacturing challenges, with a focus on sustainability and digital reality.
The selected startups, which hail from seven countries, bring unique approaches to some of today’s most critical manufacturing challenges, such as improving product sustainability, eliminating waste, capturing real-time data, automating design, and incorporating cobots into production lines. As part of the Sixth Sense program, they will gain access to Hexagon’s invaluable market insights, accumulated over decades of collaboration with industry-leading technology giants, which will accelerate their journey to commercial success.
Hexagon, the industrial software leader that plays a pivotal role in manufacturing 90% of aircraft, 75% of smartphones, and 95% of all automobiles worldwide, launched Sixth Sense in January 2022. This initiative is designed to nurture startups within the manufacturing industry by supporting them with Hexagon’s extensive resources.
The nine startups are:
Acerta Analytics, Canada: Acerta Analytics provides advanced analytics solutions that leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence (ML/AI) to turn complex product data into actionable insights. The solution enables automakers and suppliers of complex vehicle parts to improve quality in manufacturing processes and supports early defect detection.Circularise, Netherlands: Circularise offers digital product passports for end-to-end traceability and secure data exchange in industrial supply chains. Its technology helps companies achieve transparency and sustainability by tracking the lifecycle of products and materials.Dessia, France: Dessia offers a platform featuring virtual “bots” that serve as companions to assist engineers in designing mechanical systems. These virtual assistants provide support and insights throughout the design process.Flexxbotics, Boston, US: Flexxbotics specialises in enabling high-mix automation-intensive manufacturers to create flexible next-generation machining environments. It utilises breakthrough FlexxCORE™ technology to seamlessly connect and coordinate collaborative robots with existing automation equipment, IT systems, and personnel to deliver autonomous process control.Launchpad, Los Angeles, US: Launchpad utilises AI and advanced simulation technologies to automate aspects of the design, procurement, and manufacturing process. Its focus is on concepts like mass customization, micro-factories, and software-defined robotics to create shorter supply chains, reduce waste, and deliver new features faster in the manufacturing industry.Rafinex, Luxembourg: Rafinex’s stochastic AI topology optimization for safe, lightweight designs. This technology actively manages uncertainty and risks of real-life variability to create uniquely robust designs that remain safe even in off-design load conditions for application in safety-critical performance sectors such as aerospace, automotive, and tooling.RV Magnetics, Slovakia: RV Magnetics has developed the world’s smallest passive sensor based on MicroWire technology. This sensor combines unique capabilities from electromechanics, electronics, chemistry, physics, applied magnetism, and industrial design, offering diverse applications.ToffeeAM, London, UK: ToffeeAM provides state-of-the-art multi-physics generative design software for engineering. Its mission is to empower engineers to optimise engineering components and systems efficiently, enabling them to go further and faster in design processes.Zaptic, Manchester, UK: Zaptic provides job instruction and collaboration tools for frontline teams, along with a no-code toolkit designed to accelerate the digital transformation of daily operations. The solutions help organizations streamline processes and improve communication among frontline workers.These startups will embark on an intensive 16-week journey as part of the Sixth Sense program, collaborating closely with Hexagon to refine their offerings. Ultimately, up to three winners will be selected from the cohort, granting them access to Hexagon’s extensive resources for global expansion, including potential funding, worldwide office space, and Hexagon’s comprehensive suite of products and services. Additionally, they will be showcased on Hexagon’s open digital reality platform for manufacturing, Nexus, providing them access to world-class companies.
“For this third cohort, we’ve been on the hunt for new innovations that enable manufacturing leaders to lead the net-zero transition – especially with sustainable product design – and we’re thrilled with the caliber of the startups we’ve found to participate,” said Josh Weiss, president of Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division. “Sixth Sense is designed to pinpoint emerging opportunities for greater innovation, and we’re thrilled to give these companies that are poised for high-growth access to resources and customers that they typically wouldn’t have at this stage in their lifecycle.”
“Hexagon’s commitment to nurturing innovation and driving sustainable manufacturing practices continues to shine through,” said Milan Kocić, head of Sixth Sense, Hexagon. “Each of these startups has demonstrated their capacity to address pressing manufacturing challenges with creativity and determination. Much like our previous cohorts have addressed critical industry challenges, we believe these innovators will play a crucial role in shaping a sustainable future for the manufacturing industry.”
About Sixth SenseHexagon technologies are used to manufacture 90% of aircraft, 75% of smartphones, and 95% of every automobile produced worldwide. It has the scale, the network, and the ambition to make a difference. As we enter the era of Industry 4.0, Sixth Sense was launched to discover smart and efficient solutions that will boost performance and benefit people and the planet. By inviting the next generation of innovators to the table, Hexagon aims to share its resources and make connections that accelerate progress – pushing the boundaries of design, manufacturing, and engineering and starting to imagine a better future for the benefit of everyone. To follow Sixth Sense, and learn about the ecosystem and opportunities for participation, visit https://sixthsense.hexagon.com/.
About HexagonHexagon is the global leader in digital reality solutions, combining sensor, software and autonomous technologies. We are putting data to work to boost efficiency, productivity, quality and safety across industrial, manufacturing, infrastructure, public sector, and mobility applications.
Our technologies are shaping production and people related ecosystems to become increasingly connected and autonomous – ensuring a scalable, sustainable future. Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division provides solutions that use data from design and engineering, production and metrology to make manufacturing smarter. For more information, visit hexagon.com/mi.
Hexagon (Nasdaq Stockholm: HEXA B) has approximately 24,000 employees in 50 countries and net sales of approximately 5.2bn EUR. Learn more at hexagon.com and follow us @HexagonAB.
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