Sales for the fourth quarter of 2019 decreased 4.1% to $1,277.9 million, compared to $1,332.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2018, with 0.5% acquisition-related growth, offset by a 1.2% negative impact from foreign currency translation and a decline in organic sales growth of 3.4%.
Operating income for the fourth quarter of 2019 was $173.9 million compared to $189.2 million for the comparable quarter of 2018.
For the year ending Dec. 31, 2019, sales and operating income improved 3.1% and 1.5% to $5.3 billion and $787.3 million, respectively, compared to Dec. 31, 2018.
The year ending Dec. 31, 2019, included results from 12 acquisitions completed since Jan. 1, 2018, delivering acquisition related sales growth for the period of 2.7%, coupled with organic sales growth of 0.7% and partially offset by 0.3% negative impact from foreign currency translation.
“CCL Segment performance was mixed for the fourth quarter resulting in a modest decline for 2019,” said Geoffrey T. Martin, president and CEO. “CCL Design results continued 2019 trends with strong sales growth and significant profitability gains in electronics outweighing slower automotive markets.
“Home & Personal Care sales gained in some emerging markets but declines in North America and Europe more than offset although profitability improved,” Martin noted. “Slow sales of aerosols drove lower profitability for 2019. Healthcare & Specialty results declined for the quarter and year on challenging generic drug markets, especially in North America, conditions in agricultural chemicals also remained difficult; emerging markets growth a partial offset.
‘Food & Beverage faced difficult comparisons including near 20% organic growth in the fourth quarter of 2018. Results declined on slower new project wins, some share loss and pricing challenges. The same issues drove lower mid-single digit organic growth for 2019 with reduced profitability. CCL Secure posted a strong year with double-digit sales and profitability gains although order timings affected fourth quarter comparisons,” added Martin.
“Checkpoint had a steady quarter and year as solid organic sales growth in MAS product lines offset slower apparel label sales; profitability declined modestly for both periods excluding the settlement of the outstanding legal case. Avery’s direct-to-consumer business continued to grow double-digit, driving the Segment’s first annual organic growth since 2015, with significantly improved profitability,” he continued. “The first full year of the Treofan acquisition contributed positively while below pre-acquisition levels although fourth quarter performance improved over prior year.”
The company’s consolidated leverage ratio declined to 1.61 times EBITDA.