Net sales increased 5.3% to $1,163.0 million during third quarter 2013, compared to third quarter 2012 Net Sales of $1,104.7 million. The $58.3 million increase resulted from $70.0 million of favorable volume/mix, partially offset by $6.5 million of unfavorable exchange rates and $5.2 million of lower pricing. The favorable volume/mix was primarily driven by the fourth quarter 2012 European acquisitions of Contego Packaging Holdings Limited and A&R Carton Holding B.V.
"We posted a solid quarter despite a difficult operating environment in our key end-use markets," said CEO David Scheible. "Strong operating performance more than offset cost inflation and soft demand in core end-markets like beer, soft drink and cereal. Unemployment levels and fuel prices remain higher than most had forecasted, forcing end consumers to continue to tightly manage discretionary spending. We continue to more than offset these demand headwinds by delivering improved performance and cost reductions and expect to achieve approximately $100 million in performance benefits for the full year."
On a segment basis, Paperboard Packaging sales, which comprised 85.7% of total third quarter net sales, increased 7.2% compared to the third quarter of 2012. The increase primarily reflected the addition of the two acquisitions. Net sales in the Flexible Packaging segment decreased 5.1% compared to the third quarter of 2012. A significant portion of the decline was attributable to the planned shift from external sales to internal consumption of kraft paper produced at the Pine Bluff, AR mill.
EBITDA for third quarter 2013 increased 13.5% to $188.8 million from $166.4 million in the third quarter last year.