Net sales increased 39% to $1,476.0 million in the first quarter of 2018, compared to $1,061.5 million in the prior year period. The $414.5 million increase was driven by $359.5 million of revenue from the SBS mill and foodservice converting assets, $25.5 million of improved volume/mix related primarily to acquisitions, $24.0 million of favorable foreign exchange, and $5.5 million of higher pricing.
“We are very pleased with our performance in the first quarter following the new combination with the SBS mill and foodservice converting assets and are encouraged by the positive volume and productivity momentum in the business during the second quarter. First quarter adjusted EBITDA of $231 million was in line with our expectations and results from the SBS mill and foodservice converting assets were solid,” said president and CEO Michael Doss.
EBITDA for the first quarter of 2018 was $187.6 million, or $35.3 million higher than the first quarter of 2017. After adjusting both periods for business combinations and other special charges, adjusted EBITDA increased 43% to $230.8 million in the first quarter of 2018 from $160.9 million in the first quarter of 2017.
Total debt (long-term, short-term and current portion) increased $824.8 million during the first quarter of 2018 to $3,111.8 million compared to the fourth quarter 2017, primarily reflecting $660 million of debt assumed from the combination with the SBS mill and foodservice converting assets. The company’s first quarter pro forma 2018 net leverage ratio was 3.27 times adjusted EBITDA compared to 3.12 times at the end of 2017.