Graphic Packaging Holding Company reported a net Loss for second quarter 2014 of $40.0 million, or $0.12 per share, based upon 328.7 million weighted average shares. This compares to second quarter 2013 net income of $21.2 million, or $0.06 per share, based on 351.5 million weighted average diluted shares.
Including the tax impact, second quarter 2014 net income was negatively impacted by $106.0 million of charges primarily from the loss on sale of assets (multi-wall bag business) along with charges associated with business combinations and other special charges. When adjusting for these charges, adjusted net Income for the second quarter of 2014 was $66.0 million, or $0.20 per diluted share compared to second quarter 2013 adjusted net Income of $44.1 million or $0.13 per diluted share.
“We had a busy quarter with a strategic acquisition and the sale of our multi-wall bag business. The sale represents the last major step in a series of divestitures over the last nine months and completes our transformation into a pure play, vertically integrated paperboard packaging business,” said CEO David Scheible. “We recovered from the weather challenged first quarter and delivered a solid second quarter with significantly higher adjusted EBITDA margins both sequentially and year-over-year. Performance was strong across the business, particularly at our two virgin fiber mills, which ramped back up quickly and efficiently after the weather driven unplanned downtime in February and March. We were also able to move our continuous improvement teams back into place and delivered a solid $22 million net benefit from performance initiatives in the quarter.
“Our first priority is running the business, but we are also taking strategic actions to further position Graphic Packing as the global leader in paperboard packaging. We took two major steps toward this goal in the quarter with the acquisition of the U.K.-based Benson Group and the sale of our multi-wall bag business. The Benson acquisition greatly enhances our folding carton business in Europe in key end-use segments. Like our strategy in the United States, we are committed to growing our European business around food and beverage end markets and optimizing our supply chain footprint around our customers’ needs.”
Net sales decreased 2.0% to $1,116.7 million in the second quarter of 2014, compared to $1,139.7 million in the prior year period. Excluding $53.4 million of sales in the prior year period from divested businesses, net sales increased $30.4 million or 2.8%. The increase was driven by $23.7 million of higher pricing, $4.1 million of favorable exchange rates and $2.6 million of improved volume/mix.
Paperboard Packaging net sales, which comprised 88.4% of total second quarter net sales, increased 1.6% to $987.3 million in second quarter 2014, compared to $972.1 million in the prior year period. Excluding $21.0 million of sales in the prior year period for the divested Uncoated Recycled Board (URB) mill and the divested labels business, Paperboard Packaging Net Sales increased $36.2 million or 3.8%.
Net sales in the Flexible Packaging segment decreased 22.8% to $129.4 million in the second quarter of 2014, compared to $167.6 million in the prior year period. Excluding $32.4 million of sales in the prior year period for the divested flexible plastics business, Flexible Packaging net sales decreased $5.8 million or 4.3%.
Including $171.1 million of special charges, EBITDA for second quarter 2014 decreased to $19.7 million from $139.7 million in the second quarter of last year. When adjusting for these special charges, adjusted EBITDA increased 9.0% to $190.8 million in second quarter 2014 from $175.1 million in second quarter 2013. The $171.1 million adjustment was primarily related to the June 2014 sale of the company’s multi-wall bag business.
When comparing against the prior year quarter, adjusted EBITDA in the second quarter of 2014 was positively impacted by $23.7 million of higher pricing, $21.6 million of improved net operating performance and $0.3 million of favorable exchange rates. These benefits were offset by $12.8 million of commodity inflation, $10.7 million in higher labor and benefit costs, and $6.4 million of unfavorable volume/mix.
Total net debt at the end of second quarter 2014 was $2,161.3 million, $40.1 million lower than at the end of 2013.