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Owens-Illinois 2Q Net Down 46% On Expenses; Revenue Up

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Owens-Illinois Inc.'s (OI) second-quarter profit fell 46% as the glass-container maker posted higher expenses, more than offsetting a jump in sales. "We didn't achieve our typical high standards for manufacturing excellence in North America during the second quarter," Chairman and Chief Executive Al Stroucken said. "In addition, we faced challenging market demand in Australia and New Zealand, which contributed to lower production levels in Asia Pacific." Stroucken said third-quarter earnings should improve from the second-quarter results, but will likely lag profit from the year-ago period. The company, which makes containers for beverages in 21 countries, predicted last month that its second-quarter earnings would decline from the year-earlier period on higher-than-anticipated costs. Demand has increased globally for wine, food and spirits, though the company said last month appreciating currencies and weak demands have weighed on performance in Australia and New Zealand. Owens-Illinois continues to face a sluggish beer market in its more mature markets such as the U.S. Owens-Illinois reported a profit of $71 million, or 42 cents a share, down from $132 million, or 79 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding writeoffs, restructuring charges and other items, per-share earnings fell to 59 cents from 84 cents. Revenue climbed 17% to $1.96 billion on higher sales volume and foreign-currency gains. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had most recently forecast earnings of 61 cents a share on revenue of $1.89 billion. Gross margin narrowed to 18.1% from 22.9%. Administrative expenses rose 19% and research and development expenses increased 20%. Sales in Europe, the company's largest market, rose 24% as profit grew 2.9%. North American sales decreased 1.9%. Asia Pacific sales climbed 10.3%. The company also named Steve Bramlage the new president of its Asia Pacific region. He previously served as general manager of O-I New Zealand. Shares closed at $25.86 Tuesday and were inactive in after-hours trading. The stock has lost 13% in the past 12 months. -By Nathalie Tadena, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3287; nathalie.tadena@dowjones.com

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