Ardagh: S&P revises ratings

Ratings agency Standard & Poor“s (S&P) has revised its outlook on container glass manufacturer Ardagh Glass to stable from positive and also confirmed a B+ rating on its debt.
The revision reflects …

Ratings agency Standard & Poor“s (S&P) has revised its outlook on container glass manufacturer Ardagh Glass to stable from positive and also confirmed a B+ rating on its debt. The revision reflects its view that weakening demand and high energy prices are likely to lead to a poorer-than-expected financial performance, the agency said, adding that this reduces the prospect of an upgrade over the near term. Ardagh is headed up by financier Paul Coulson, who has built the business into Europe“s largest glass container firm. S&P“s credit analyst Izabela Listowska said it had previously considered there was potential for a higher rating, thanks to Ardagh“s continued expansion of earnings and cash flows, and the resulting improvement in credit protection measures in 2009. “However, we now expect the company“s financial performance and resulting credit measures to remain adequate for the existing ratings”, she said. “The ratings continue to reflect the group“s highly leveraged financial profile, its exposure to volatile energy prices and high capital intensity”, the agency said. At the end of September 2008, Ardagh Group reported total debts of EUR 960 million.