US aluminum manufacturer Ball Corporation intends to have four new production lines running at its Glendale and Pittston plants by the end of 2021 and remains positive about growing demand in the packaging sector.
The manufacturer’s beverage packaging sales in Central and South America amounted to $1.3bn, leading to a profit of $140mn in Q1 2021, compared with $1.2bn and $146mn, respectively, in last year’s quarter. The company expects to have the new Bowling green facility online by late 2021, apart from the two plants mentioned. The company expects these developments to fill the gap currently served by imports due to a shortage of aluminum cans in the US.
In Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, sales amounted to $796mn and a profit of $100mn against $669mn and $68mn in the same period under comparison, respectively. In this region as well, demand continues to outpace supply. Still, Ball expects to meet its contractual requirements in the UK, Russia, and the Czech Republic.
In South America, the company ended Q1 2021 with sales at $487mn and net profits of $93mn, over $405mn and $63mn a year ago, respectively. Ball attributed the growth to a better product mix in the region along with the high can recycling rate in Brazil, which lowers cost as recycling undercuts the cost of aluminum can sheet as raw material.
Ball Corporation’s sales from its aerospace sector stood at $424mn for Q1 2021, with a net profit of $35mn, down from sales of $432mn and earnings of $40mn in the same period last year. However, the company reported an order backlog of $2bn in this segment. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to weigh on demand in this sector.
The Corporation’s net earnings in Q1 2021 increased to $240mn, compared with earnings of $202mn in Q1 2020.