Sales Growth Accelerated Raising Full Year Outlook
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Sealed Air Corporation (NYSE: SEE) today announced financial results for the first quarter 2021.
“Our Q1 results reflect strong performance and our focus on automation, digital and sustainability. Net sales increased 8% with strength in eCommerce, food retail and equipment, combined with increasing momentum in industrials. Adjusted EBITDA increased 6% as higher volumes and productivity improvements more than offset global supply chain disruptions related to Winter Storm Uri,” said Ted Doheny, Sealed Air’s President and CEO.
“As market opportunities move to a 'touchless environment,' customers are looking to Sealed Air's leadership in automation, service, and high-performance packaging materials. Strong operational execution as well as growth opportunities give us confidence to raise our full year outlook,” continued Doheny.
Unless otherwise stated, all results compare first quarter 2021 to first quarter 2020 results from continuing operations. Year-over-year financial discussions present operating results from continuing operations as reported. Year-over-year comparisons are also made on a constant dollar basis, which is a non-U.S. GAAP measure. Constant dollar refers to changes in net sales and earnings, including changes in unit volume and price performance, but excluding the impact of currency translation. Additionally, non-U.S. GAAP adjusted financial measures, such as Adjusted Earnings Before Interest Expense, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization ("Adjusted EBITDA"), Adjusted Net Earnings, Adjusted Diluted Earnings Per Share ("Adjusted EPS") and Adjusted Tax Rate, exclude the impact of specified items ("Special Items"), such as restructuring charges, restructuring associated costs, gains and losses related to acquisition and divestiture of businesses, special tax items ("Tax Special Items") and certain infrequent or one-time items. Please refer to the supplemental information included with this press release for a reconciliation of U.S. GAAP to Non-U.S. GAAP financial measures.
First quarter net sales in Food were $702 million, an increase of 2% as reported, primarily driven by a favorable currency impact of 1.5%. On a constant dollar basis, net sales were essentially flat with 5% growth in Asia Pacific (APAC) and 1% in EMEA, largely offset by a 1% decline in Americas. Americas includes both North and South America. Retail and equipment demand remained strong, while food service trends continued to trail prior year levels. Adjusted EBITDA of $157 million, or 22.3% of net sales, compares to $156 million, or 22.6% of net sales, in the prior year. Reinvent SEE productivity improvements were offset by raw material inflation and higher costs related to the winter storm supply chain disruptions.
First quarter net sales in Protective were $565 million, an increase of 17% as reported. Currency had a favorable impact of $15 million, or 3%. On a constant dollar basis, net sales increased $67 million, or 14%, driven by a 13% increase in volume. Continued momentum in e-Commerce, fulfillment and automated equipment, along with a recovery in industrial segments, contributed to constant dollar growth of 23% in APAC, 14% in EMEA and 12% in Americas. Adjusted EBITDA increased 18% to $110 million, or 19.5% of sales. The increase in Adjusted EBITDA was primarily attributable to volume growth and Reinvent SEE productivity improvements, partially offset by raw material inflation and higher costs related to the winter storm supply chain disruptions.
First Quarter 2021 U.S. GAAP Summary
Net sales of $1.3 billion increased 8% as reported. Currency contributed $25 million, or approximately 2%, to net sales as compared to first quarter 2020.
Net earnings in first quarter 2021 were $106 million, or $0.68 per diluted share, as compared to net earnings of $115 million, or $0.74 per diluted share, in first quarter 2020.
The effective tax rate in first quarter 2021 was 34.0%, as compared to 22.2% in first quarter 2020. The current year effective tax rate was unfavorably impacted by legislative and administrative changes to enacted foreign statutes. The lower prior year tax rate was favorably impacted by the resolution of specific uncertain tax positions associated with a U.S. IRS audit.
First Quarter 2021 Non-U.S. GAAP Summary
Net sales increased $68 million, or 6%, on a constant dollar basis. Volumes increased $60 million, or 5%. Volumes were higher across all regions, with APAC up 13%, EMEA up 7% and Americas up 3%. Pricing increased 1%, primarily in Americas.
Adjusted EBITDA was $268 million, or 21.2% of net sales in first quarter 2021 as compared to $253 million, or 21.6% in first quarter 2020. Currency fluctuations had a favorable impact of $4 million, or 2% in first quarter 2021. The increase in Adjusted EBITDA was largely due to volume growth and benefits from our Reinvent SEE business transformation, partially offset by raw material inflation and higher costs related to the winter storm supply chain disruptions.
The Adjusted Tax Rate was 27.6% in first quarter 2021, as compared to 27.9% in first quarter 2020.
Adjusted earnings per diluted share were $0.78 in first quarter 2021, as compared to $0.73 in first quarter 2020. The increase in Adjusted EPS was attributable to higher Adjusted EBITDA.
Cash Flow and Net Debt
Cash flow provided by operating activities for first quarter 2021 was a source of $80 million, as compared to a source of $41 million for first quarter 2020. The increase in cash from operating activities was primarily due to a tax refund of $24 million received during the quarter and lower restructuring and associated payments of $5 million in first quarter 2021, as compared to $26 million in first quarter 2020. Capital expenditures were $44 million during first quarter 2021 as compared to $49 million in the same period last year. Free Cash Flow, defined as net cash provided by operating activities less capital expenditures, was a source of $36 million in first quarter 2021, as compared to a use of $8 million in first quarter 2020.
During first quarter 2021, the Company repurchased 4 million shares for an aggregate cost of $177 million and paid cash dividends of $26 million.
Net Debt, defined as total debt less cash and cash equivalents, was $3.4 billion as of March 31, 2021 as compared to $3.2 billion as of December 31, 2020. As of March 31, 2021, Sealed Air had approximately $1.5 billion of liquidity available, comprised of $370 million of cash and $1,133 million of undrawn, committed credit facilities.
Updated 2021 Full Year Outlook
For the full year 2021, Sealed Air now expects net sales in the range of $5.25 billion to $5.35 billion, which represents an increase of 7% to 9% as reported and 6% to 8% in constant dollars. This compares to the Company's previous net sales outlook in the range of $5.10 billion to $5.20 billion. Adjusted EBITDA is now expected to be in the range of $1.12 billion to $1.15 billion, compared to the previous outlook of $1.10 billion to $1.13 billion. Sealed Air now forecasts Adjusted EPS to be in the range of $3.40 to $3.55, which is based on approximately 154 million weighted average shares outstanding. The Company continues to anticipate the Adjusted Tax Rate to be 26% to 27%. The previous EPS range was $3.25 to $3.40 based on 157 million shares.
Free Cash Flow in 2021 is now expected to be in the range of $520 million to $570 million, with capital expenditures of approximately $210 million and Reinvent SEE restructuring and associated payments of approximately $40 million. This compares to the previous Free Cash Flow range of $500 million to $550 million.
Conference Call Information
Sealed Air Corporation will host a conference call and webcast on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. (ET) to discuss our First Quarter 2021 Results. The conference call will be webcast live on the Investors homepage at www.sealedair.com/investors. A replay of the webcast will also be available thereafter.
About Sealed Air (NYSE: SEE)
Sealed Air is in business to protect, to solve critical packaging challenges and to make our world better than we found it. Our packaging technology, solutions and systems create a safer, more resilient and less wasteful global food supply chain, enable eCommerce and protect the movement of goods worldwide.
Our globally recognized brands include CRYOVAC® brand food packaging, SEALED AIR® brand protective packaging, AUTOBAG® brand automated systems, BUBBLE WRAP® brand packaging and SEE™ Automation solutions.
Our SEE Operating Model, along with industry-leading experts in materials, engineering, technology and science, are driving our innovative solution systems to be more sustainable, automated and digitally connected.
Sealed Air is leading the packaging industry to create a more environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable future and has pledged to design or advance 100% of its packaging materials to be recyclable or reusable by 2025, and an even bolder goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions in its global operations by 2040.
Sealed Air generated $4.9 billion in sales in 2020 and has approximately 16,500 employees who serve customers in 117 countries/territories. To learn more, visit www.sealedair.com.
We routinely post important information for investors on our website, www.sealedair.com, in the Investors section. We use this website as a means of disclosing material, non-public information and for complying with our disclosure obligations under Regulation FD. Accordingly, investors should monitor the Investors section of our website, in addition to following our press releases, SEC filings, public conference calls, presentations and webcasts. The information contained on, or that may be accessed through, our website is not incorporated by reference into, and is not a part of, this document.
Non-U.S. GAAP Information
In this press release and supplement, we have included several non-U.S. GAAP financial measures, including Net Debt, Adjusted Net Earnings and Adjusted EPS, net sales on an "organic" and a “constant dollar” basis, Free Cash Flow, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted Tax Rate, as our management believes these measures are useful to investors. We present results and guidance, adjusted to exclude the effects of Special Items and their related tax impact that would otherwise be included under U.S. GAAP, to aid in comparisons with other periods or prior guidance. In addition, non-U.S. GAAP measures are used by management to review and analyze our operating performance and, along with other data, as internal measures for setting annual budgets and forecasts, assessing financial performance, providing guidance and comparing our financial performance with our peers and may also be used for purposes of determining incentive compensation. The non-U.S. GAAP information has limitations as an analytical tool and should not be considered in isolation from or as a substitute for U.S. GAAP information. It does not purport to represent any similarly titled U.S. GAAP information and is not an indicator of our performance under U.S. GAAP. Non-U.S. GAAP financial measures that we present may not be comparable with similarly titled measures used by others. Investors are cautioned against placing undue reliance on these non-U.S. GAAP measures. For a reconciliation of these U.S. GAAP measures to non-U.S. GAAP measures and other important information on our use of non-U.S. GAAP financial measures, see the attached supplementary information entitled “Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows” (under the section entitled “Non-U.S. GAAP Free Cash Flow”), “Reconciliation of Net Earnings and Net Earnings Per Common Share to Non-U.S. GAAP Adjusted Net Earnings and Non-U.S. GAAP Adjusted Net Earnings Per Common Share,” “Reconciliation of Net Earnings to Non-U.S. GAAP Total Company Adjusted EBITDA,” “Components of Change in Net Sales by Segment” and “Components of Change in Net Sales by Region.” Information reconciling forward-looking U.S. GAAP measures to non-U.S. GAAP measures is not available without unreasonable effort.
We have not provided guidance for the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP financial measures, as they are not available without unreasonable effort due to the high variability, complexity, and low visibility with respect to certain Special Items, including restructuring charges, gains and losses related to acquisition and divestiture of businesses, the ultimate outcome of certain legal or tax proceedings, and other unusual gains and losses. These items are uncertain, depend on various factors, and could be material to our results computed in accordance with U.S. GAAP.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 concerning our business, consolidated financial condition, results of operations or cash flows. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, many of which are outside our control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from these statements. Therefore, you should not rely on any of these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements can be identified by such words as “anticipate,” “believe,” “plan,” “assume,” “could,” “should,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “potential,” “seek,” “predict,” “may,” “will” and similar references to future periods. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this press release regarding our strategies, prospects, financial condition, operations, costs, plans and objectives are forward-looking statements. Examples of forward-looking statements include, among others, statements we make regarding expected future operating results, expectations regarding the results of restructuring and other programs, anticipated levels of capital expenditures and expectations of the effect on our financial condition of claims, litigation, environmental costs, contingent liabilities and governmental and regulatory investigations and proceedings.
The following are important factors that we believe could cause actual results to differ materially from those in our forward-looking statements: global economic and political conditions, currency translation and devaluation effects, changes in raw material pricing and availability, competitive conditions, the success of new product offerings, consumer preferences, the effects of animal and food-related health issues, the effects of epidemics or pandemics, including the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), changes in energy costs, environmental matters, the success of our restructuring activities, the success of our merger, acquisition and equity investment strategies, the success of our financial growth, profitability, cash generation and manufacturing strategies and our cost reduction and productivity efforts, changes in our credit ratings, the tax benefit associated with the Settlement agreement (as defined in our 2020 Annual Report on Form 10-K), regulatory actions and legal matters and the other information referenced in the “Risk Factors” section appearing in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and as revised and updated by our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K. Any forward-looking statement made by us is based only on information currently available to us and speaks only as of the date on which it is made. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether because of new information, future developments or otherwise.