Greif lowers fiscal 2011 outlook for its diluted class A earnings/share before special items to US$3.65-US$3.75/share from US$4.15-US$4.30/share on lower than expected results in Western Europe
November 28, 2011
– Greif, Inc. (NYSE: GEF, GEF.B) today announced that it has revised its outlook for fiscal 2011, which ended Oct. 31, 2011. Diluted Class A earnings per share before special items are expected to be $3.65-$3.75 for 2011 compared to the company's previous guidance of $4.15-$4.30. The shortfall was primarily caused by lower than expected results in Western Europe.
The company's 2011 financial results in Western Europe were adversely impacted by a decline in volumes and profitability during the second half of the year as customers responded to changes in demand and increased business uncertainties through tighter management of their inventories. The reduction in results in Western Europe caused a higher percentage of the company's net income to be generated from countries with tax rates higher than Western Europe. This resulted in a higher book tax rate for the company of $0.28-$0.32 per share. The operating profit shortfall was $0.20-$0.25 per share.
2011 was the third best year in the history of the company and included record operating profit in the Paper Packaging segment and the North America and Asia Pacific regions of the Rigid Industrial Packaging & Services segment, and very strong performance in the first full year of the Flexible Products & Services segment. In addition, during 2011, the company made important acquisitions in the container life cycle management and the rigid intermediate bulk containers businesses, which, coupled with recent investments in flexible intermediate bulk containers, provide the company with three growth platforms.
The company is implementing contingency plans to mitigate impact on future performance from the factors noted above. Cost-saving actions were initiated in August 2011 and expanded during the fourth quarter of 2011. Some of these actions resulted in additional restructuring charges during the fourth quarter. For 2011, special items per diluted Class A share included restructuring charges ($0.35-$0.38), acquisition-related costs ($0.25-$0.29) and non-cash intangible asset impairment charge ($0.03-$0.05). Diluted Class A earnings per share are expected to be $2.95-$3.05 for 2011.
Management believes that the company will continue to generate sufficient operating cash flow to support quarterly cash dividends consistent with past practice and reinvestment in the business. The company plans to report its fourth quarter and 2011 earnings on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, following the market close and conduct a conference call on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) to discuss the 2011 financial results.
Greif is a world leader in industrial packaging products and services. The company produces steel, plastic, fibre, flexible, corrugated and multiwall containers and containerboard, and provides reconditioning, blending, filling and packaging services for a wide range of industries. Greif also manages timber properties in North America. With $3.5 billion in sales in 2010, the company is strategically positioned in more than 55 countries to serve global as well as regional customers. Additional information is on the company's website at www.greif.com