Net sales in the first quarter were $1,901 million compared to $1,893 million in the first quarter of 2016 reflecting increased beverage, food and aerosol can volumes and the pass through of higher material costs to customers, partially offset by $54 million of unfavorable currency translation impact.
Income from operations was $237 million in the quarter compared to $219 million in the first quarter of 2016. Segment income increased to $228 million in the first quarter compared to $221 million in the prior year first quarter and included $6 million of unfavorable currency translation impact.
“We are off to a solid start in 2017 with adjusted earnings per share increasing 4% over the prior year, led by firm results across most operations,” said Timothy J. Donahue, president and CEO.
“At the same time, our capital projects remain on track. The first production line at our beverage can facility in Nichols, NY began commercial shipments in late January and the second line was completed this month,” Donahue added. “We have also completed the conversion of our beverage can plant in Custines, France from steel to aluminum with the start-up of the second high speed line this month. In Colombia, we are on schedule to expand beverage can capacity in June. Our new beverage can plant in Jakarta, Indonesia is expected to begin commercial production at the end of the second quarter of this year, followed by the second line at our plant in Danang, Vietnam in the third quarter. A new beverage can plant in Yangon, Myanmar and a glass bottle facility in Chihuahua, Mexico are both scheduled for start-up in the first half of 2018.”
Interest expense was $62 million in the first quarter of 2017 compared to $64 million in 2016 primarily due to lower outstanding debt.
Net income attributable to Crown Holdings in the first quarter was $107 million compared to $79 million in the first quarter of 2016. Reported diluted earnings per share were $0.77 in the first quarter of 2017 compared to $0.57 in 2016. Adjusted diluted earnings per share increased to $0.72 over the $0.69 in 2016 and included $0.04 per share of unfavorable currency translation impact.
The company currently expects 2017 adjusted diluted earnings per share to be in the range of $3.80 to $4.00, consistent with its previous guidance and based on current exchange rate levels. Adjusted diluted earnings per share for the 2017 second quarter are expected to be in the range of $1.05 to $1.15.
Cash provided by operating activities is currently expected to be approximately $875 million, and management currently forecasts 2017 capital expenditures of approximately $450 million.