Ball 1Q earnings climb nearly 30 percent

BROOMFIELD – Ball Corp.’s first-quarter profit leaped nearly 30 percent this year when compared to the same period a year ago, according to the company’s earnings report released Thursday.
Net income for Broomfield-based Ball (NYSE: BLL) was $93.5 million, or 65 cents per diluted share, for the quarter ending March 31. That’s compared to $72 million for the same timeframe a year ago.
Revenue for the quarter was $2 billion, just a few million more than a year ago.
Ball manufactures packaging for the food, beverage and household products industries, and also has an aerospace division based in Boulder.
The company noted that strong demand for specialty beverage packaging and strong beer can volumes in North America helped offset ongoing weakness in soft drink consumption.
Metal beverage packaging in the Americas and Asia accounted for about $998 million of the company’s first-quarter sales, up $3 million from last year. Aerospace and technologies operating earnings rose $6 million to $24 million despite sales dipping almost $11 million to $221 million for the quarter.
“Stable beverage can volumes in North America, stronger than expected volumes in Europe and Brazil, as well as excellent plant and program performance, led to our strong first-quarter results,” Ball chairman, president and chief executive John Hayes said.
Ball shares were up 1 percent from Wednesday’s close, at $57.28, in early afternoon trading Thursday.

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