Owens-Illinois: 4Q 2008 loss widens

Owens-Illinois Inc., said 29 January 2009 that its 4Q 2008 loss widened as the glass container manufacturer“s earnings were offset by charges, lower sales and the company“s decision to temporarily c…

Owens-Illinois Inc., said 29 January 2009 that its 4Q 2008 loss widened as the glass container manufacturer“s earnings were offset by charges, lower sales and the company“s decision to temporarily close down some manufacturing operations during the quarter. The company posted a loss of USD 229.7 million, or USD 1.39 a share, for the three months ended 31 December 2008. That compares with a loss to common shareholders of USD 24.2 million, or USD 0.15 a share, in the prior-year period. Excluding the impact of discontinued operations and charges, Owens-Illinois posted net income of USD 76.2 million, or USD 0.45 a share. Net sales declined 13% to USD 1.71 billion from USD 1.96 billion in the prior year. The latest quarter included several one-time charges, including USD 248.8 million related to the company“s asbestos litigation and USD 16.5 million in restructuring costs and asset markdowns. Owens-Illinois said earnings were also hurt by the temporary shutdown of manufacturing operations during the quarter, a strategy aimed at helping manage inventory levels. The company said higher prices and improved product mix accounted for a USD 152 million boost to sales for the quarter, but that was offset by a USD 197 million volume decline. A stronger US dollar led to a USD 195 million reduction in foreign currency sales compared to the same quarter in 2007. “We were able to react quickly to a weakening global economy and temporarily curtail production in the 4Q to prevent carrying excess inventory quantities into 2009”, Al Stroucken, Owens-Illinois“ chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.