Net sales in the fourth quarter increased to $2,168 million compared to $1,923 million in the fourth quarter of 2016, reflecting increased global beverage and food can volumes, the pass through of higher raw material costs, and $83 million of favorable currency translation.
Income from operations was $222 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Segment income improved to $245 million in the quarter over the $236 million in the fourth quarter of 2016, including an $11 million benefit from currency translation.
“Our solid fourth quarter and full year operating results were in line with expectations and reflect strong performances throughout the company’s global businesses,” Timothy J. Donahue, president and CEO, said. “We exceeded our adjusted free cash flow projections due to another year of excellent working capital performance. Global beverage can volumes advanced three% for the full year with particularly robust shipments in Europe, Latin America and Southeast Asia.
“In January 2018, ahead of schedule, the new glass facility in Chihuahua, Mexico commenced operations to serve the expanding beer market in the northern part of the country. Additional growth projects completed in 2017 included the start-up of a two-line beverage can plant in Nichols, NY, the conversion of a second beverage can line in Custines, France from steel to aluminum, a beverage can capacity expansion in Colombia, the commencement of a one-line beverage can facility in Jakarta, Indonesia and the addition of a second production line to our Danang, Vietnam beverage can plant. In 2018, we expect to begin production at our new one-line beverage can plant in Yangon, Myanmar during the second quarter and our new two-line beverage can facility in Valencia, Spain during the fourth quarter. The Valencia plant will commence our conversion from steel to aluminum for beverage cans in the growing Spanish market. Additionally, we will construct a third beverage can line at our existing plant in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. These initiatives reflect that the can continues to become the increasingly preferred package of beverage marketers and consumers around the world.
“In December 2017, Crown announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Signode Industrial Group, a leading global provider of transit packaging systems and solutions, from The Carlyle Group for cash consideration of $3.91 billion,” Donahue added. “With this acquisition, Crown adds a portfolio of premier transit and protective packaging franchises to its existing metal packaging businesses, further broadening and diversifying our customer base and significantly increasing cash flow.”
The net loss attributable to Crown Holdings in the fourth quarter of 2017 was $89 million compared to income of $65 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. The reported loss per share was $0.67 in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to diluted earnings per share of $0.47 in the prior year quarter. Adjusted diluted earnings per share were $0.79 compared to $0.71 in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Full Year Results
Net sales for the full year were $8,698 million compared to $8,284 million in 2016, primarily due to increased global beverage and food can volumes, the pass through of higher raw material costs, and $19 million of favorable currency translation. Full year cash flow from operations of $760 million, with adjusted free cash flow of $503 million.
Income from operations was $1,077 million in 2017. Segment income improved to $1,128 million over the $1,078 million in 2016, including a benefit of $5 million from currency translation.
Net income attributable to Crown Holdings for 2017 was $323 million compared to $496 million in 2016. Reported diluted earnings per share were $2.38 compared to $3.56 in 2016. Adjusted diluted earnings per share were $4.03 compared to $3.93 in 2016.