Amcor Shakes Off Venezuela Writedown

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

Shares in packaging giant Amcor (AMC) jumped nearly 5% after it revealed a solid set of figures for the 2015-16 financial year.

The company revealed a US$671.1 million net profit for the 2016 financial year for its underlying business, up 7.5% in constant currency terms.

Revenue was down 2% for the year to $US9.4 billion inclusive of currency fluctuations, while under the same measurement net profit was steady compared to last year.

Statutory profit after tax fell 64.1% to $US244.1 million due mostly to a one-off charge of $US348.9 million attributed to its Venezuelan operations.

That writedown was revealed earlier this year so the sharp fall in statutory profit was not a surprise to local investors yesterday.

Amcor also warned in June that the problems in Venezuela and the write down would trim $US40 million from the 2016-17 profit.

The warning in June saw around $1 billion chopped from its market value, but the rebound in the share price since then, and yesterday’s 4.6% rise to $16.02 yesterday have gone some way to making up for that slide. 

Directors said the company’s various purchases during the year added about 3% of the 7% rise in earnings before interest and tax lift.

Since June 2015, Amcor has announced or completed eight acquisitions in the US, Canada, South Africa, South America, China and India.

The company declared a final unfranked dividend of 22 US cents per share, making a total for the year of 41 US cents (or 53.5 A cents).

Despite the problems in Venezuela, Amcor made it clear yesterday it was still on the lookout for acquisitions of packaging companies in the food, personal care and medical sectors in North and South America.

CEO Ron Delia says the company is actively pursuing acquisitions across the Americas, even after making a string of buys in the past year and striking trouble in Venezuela.

"We think there’s organic growth out there and in addition there’s significant pipeline of acquisition activities," Mr Delia said. "You should expect to see us be active again this year.

“The flexible packaging market in the Americas is probably about 25 per cent of the world’s market.

"We are underweight there are the moment. Amcor probably has maybe 5 per cent of the market. So we do expect to be active there,” he said.

Glenn Dyer

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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