Home, beauty and personal care sales for American packaging company MeadWestvaco Corporation decreased by 12.2 percent to US$180m during the first quarter of 2015, compared to US$205m in the same period last year.
The company has stated that although volume growth for fragrance pumps and airless beauty solutions experienced double-digit gains, overall volume was down due to lower promotional activity resulting in standard pump and trigger unit declines.
Across all segments, sales from continuing operations in the first quarter of 2015 were US$1.28bn compared to US$1.32bn during the same period in 2014.
The company, which has approximately 23,000 employees, achieved the highest increase in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) from its industrial sector, with growth of 23 percent from last year.
Yet the home, beauty and personal care sector proved to be the company’s second highest earner, accounting for a 17 percent increase in EBITA, at US$34m compared to US$26m last year.
However, growth in these markets was countered by a 6 percent earnings decline in food and beverage and a 2 percent decline in speciality chemicals.
MeadWestvaco Corporation posted total earnings of US$227m during quarter one, an increase of 2 percent compared to quarter one last year.
John Luke, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “The momentum we have established with our market-focused strategy has carried into 2015 and helped us create our own growth and deliver EBITDA improvement in our businesses during a challenging economic period.”
MeadWestvaco, headquartered in Virginia, announced in January that it is due to merge with Georgia-based paper and packaging manufacturer Rock-Tenn, in a deal which will create one of the world’s largest providers of consumer and corrugated packaging materials. The merger, valued at US$16bn, is expected to close by July.
Luke continued, “As we prepare to create the premier global packaging company with RockTenn, there is tremendous excitement about our complementary capabilities and the opportunities to serve the growing global packaging marketplace.
“Our engagement and planning over the last 90 days further validates the strength of our combination, which is on track to be completed in the current quarter. And our positive outlook across targeted end markets and expected realization of the merger benefits give us great confidence that the combined company will generate attractive long-term shareholder returns.”