Fourth quarter 2018 highlights included earnings of $1.08 per diluted share, a 42% increase compared to $0.76 per diluted share in the prior-year quarter. WestRock earned $1.29 of adjusted earnings per diluted share, a 48% increase compared to the $0.87 of adjusted earnings per diluted share in the prior-year quarter.
The company reported increased Corrugated Packaging segment EBITDA by $162 million, or 42%, compared to the prior year quarter. The segment delivered segment EBITDA margin of 22.9% and North American adjusted segment EBITDA margin of 25.4%, up 570 and 620 basis points, respectively, compared to the prior year quarter.
Full-year earnings were $7.34 per diluted share and $4.09 of adjusted earnings per diluted share compared to $2.77 and $2.62, respectively, in the prior year. The company achieved consolidated segment EBITDA of $2.89 billion and adjusted segment EBITDA of $2.89 billion compared to $2.26 billion and $2.29 billion, respectively, in the prior year, and increased Corrugated Packaging segment EBITDA by $533 million, or 39%, compared to the prior year.
Generated net cash provided by operating activities was $2.42 billion and adjusted operating cash flow was $2.46 billion compared to $1.9 billion and $2.0 billion in the prior year, respectively. WestRock achieved the $1 billion synergy and performance improvements goal the company set at the inception of WestRock in 2015 and achieved $246 million of productivity year-over-year.
“The WestRock team delivered strong financial and operating results for both the fourth quarter and the fiscal year,” said CEO Steve Voorhees. “Our North American Corrugated Packaging business had an especially outstanding year, and we continue to advance our differentiated strategy focused on achieving operational excellence and delivering value for our customers. Now, with the addition of KapStone, we have expanded our portfolio of paper and packaging solutions for our customers, and look forward to building on our success in fiscal 2019.”