TOLEDO, Ohio-Although Libbey’s net income took hits for both the fourth quarter and fiscal year, the company came away from 2012 in a positive frame of mind.
Fourth-quarter net income fell 23.8 percent to $1.6 million, while the net for the fiscal year ending on Dec. 31 dropped 70.5 percent to $7 million. Both results reflected non-operational factors. The quarter’s result was due to a provision for income taxes compared to an income-tax benefit from last year, while the year’s bottom-line decline resulted from a $31.1 million loss on the redemption of debt.
In a conference call to analysts, Stephanie Streeter, Libbey’s CEO, pointed out that the company reported a 34.8 percent gain in income from operations for the quarter, and an increase of 28.1 percent in income from operations for the year.
Net sales for the quarter edged up 2 percent to $219.1 million, and for the year gained 1 percent to total $825.3 million. Gross margin in the quarter was up 270 basis points to 20.3 percent, which Streeter attributed to increased food-service revenue, a better product sales mix in both the United States and Canada, reduced energy and packaging costs, and greater use of capacity.
Selling, general and administrative expenses in the quarter increased 11.8 percent in dollars and 126 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 14.3 percent.
Streeter told the analysts that increased focus on improving markets and defending and growing key markets—both central points to Libbey 2015, the strategic plan the company announced last year—remain “critical drivers to our performance. There is still progress to be made regarding our margins to enable us to compete effectively with an increasingly global set of competitors. Therefore, efforts to improve our cost structure will remain at the heart of our efforts in 2013.”