Provides 2021 Outlook
Tuesday, February 9, 2021
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Sealed Air Corporation (NYSE: SEE) today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2020 and announced its 2021 outlook.
“Throughout 2020, we focused on business continuity and delivering on our purpose: ‘to protect, to solve critical packaging challenges, and to leave our world better than we found it’. The resiliency and commitment of our people coupled with our broad portfolio and global scale enabled us to overcome many challenges and deliver strong results.
We delivered Adjusted EBITDA growth of 9% and Adjusted EBITDA to free cash flow conversion greater than 50%. These results demonstrate execution of our automation and sustainability strategy, fueled by our Reinvent SEE business transformation,” said Ted Doheny, Sealed Air's President and CEO.
“Market uncertainties persist in 2021, yet we expect to deliver continued sales and Adjusted EBITDA growth and another year of robust cash generation. We are leading the packaging industry by maximizing food safety and protecting goods, eliminating waste and investing in a circular economy, and accelerating a 'touchless' and digital world,” continued Doheny.
Unless otherwise stated, all results compare fourth quarter 2020 results to fourth quarter 2019 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 an organic basis and constant dollar basis, which are non-U.S. GAAP measures. Organic refers to changes in unit volume and price performance and excludes acquisitions in the first year after closing, divestiture activity and the impact of currency translation. Constant dollar refers to changes in net sales and earnings, 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.
Fourth Quarter Financial and Business Highlights
In the fourth quarter, Food reported net sales of $757 million, Adjusted EBITDA of $170 million and Adjusted EBITDA margin of 22.4%. These results were essentially flat compared to the prior year. Currency negatively impacted net sales by $6 million, or 1%, and Adjusted EBITDA by $3 million, or 2%. Net sales and Adjusted EBITDA performance was attributable to strength in food retail and automated equipment, partially offset by continued softness in food service due to the impact of COVID-19.
Fourth quarter net sales in Protective were $584 million, an increase of 8% as reported. Currency had a positive impact on Protective sales of $9 million or nearly 2%. On a constant dollar basis, net sales increased $36 million, or 7%, due to continued strength in e-Commerce, fulfillment and automated equipment. Adjusted EBITDA was up 8%, to $115 million or 19.7% of net sales. Currency had a $2 million favorable impact on Adjusted EBITDA. The Adjusted EBITDA improvement was primarily attributable to volume growth and Reinvent SEE benefits, partially offset by higher input and operating costs.
Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 U.S. GAAP Summary
Fourth quarter net sales of $1.3 billion increased 3% as reported.
Fourth quarter 2020 net earnings were $138 million, or $0.88 per diluted share, which were unfavorably impacted by Special Items of $2 million, after tax. Special Items in the fourth quarter 2020 were primarily attributable to Tax Special Items and restructuring associated costs related to the Company's Reinvent SEE initiatives, partially offset by $15 million ($11 million, after tax) of non-cash income resulting from the increase in fair value of an equity investment. Net earnings in the fourth quarter 2019 were $124 million, or $0.80 per diluted share. Special Items in the fourth quarter 2019 contributed $3 million to net earnings, which were largely driven by a one-time tax benefit resulting from tax optimization initiatives associated with Reinvent SEE and restructuring activities.
The effective tax rate in the fourth quarter 2020 was 25.6%, compared to 8.2% in the fourth quarter 2019. The fourth quarter 2020 effective tax rate included the benefit of a valuation allowance release for the improved profitability in EMEA. The prior year effective tax rate was favorably impacted by tax optimization initiatives associated with Reinvent SEE.
Full year 2020 net sales of $4.9 billion increased 2% as reported. Currency had a negative impact on total net sales of $82 million or 2%.
Full year 2020 net earnings were $484 million, or $3.10 per diluted share, which were unfavorably impacted by Special Items of $14 million, after tax. Special Items were primarily attributable to restructuring and restructuring associated costs of $23 million, after tax, as well as $5 million, after tax, related to acquisition integration. These items were partially offset by the $11 million, after tax, gain on equity investment. Net earnings for the full year 2019 of $294 million, or $1.89 per diluted share, were unfavorably impacted by $145 million of Special Items, after tax, including $76 million, after tax, of restructuring and restructuring associated costs and a one-time charge of $44 million, after tax, recorded in connection with a legal settlement.
The effective tax rate for full year 2020 was 22.7%, compared to 20.7% for full year 2019.
Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 Non-U.S. GAAP Summary
Fourth quarter 2020 net sales increased $39 million, or approximately 3%, on a constant dollar basis with favorable sales and volume trends across all regions.
Adjusted EBITDA was $279 million, or 20.8% of net sales for the fourth quarter 2020, compared to $271 million, or 20.9% of net sales for the fourth quarter 2019. The Adjusted EBITDA performance was primarily due to higher volume and Reinvent SEE initiatives, partially offset by higher input and operating costs.
Adjusted EPS was $0.89 for the fourth quarter 2020. This compares to Adjusted EPS of $0.78 for the fourth quarter 2019.
The Adjusted Tax Rate was 22.3% in the fourth quarter 2020 compared to 28.8% in the fourth quarter 2019. The fourth quarter 2020 Adjusted Tax Rate included the benefit of the valuation allowance release.
Full year 2020 net sales increased $194 million, or 4%, on a constant dollar basis, reflecting acquisition contributions of $172 million and organic growth of $22 million. Constant dollar sales increased 4% in North America. South America increased 17% in constant dollars, of which 2% was favorable volume and 15% was price, due to U.S. Dollar-based index pricing. Sales in EMEA and APAC increased 2% each in constant dollars.
Adjusted EBITDA was $1,051 million, or 21.4% of net sales in 2020, compared to $965 million, or 20.1% of net sales for full year 2019. The improvement in Adjusted EBITDA was largely due to Reinvent SEE initiatives, contributions from the Automated Packaging Systems acquisition and favorable price/cost spread, partially offset by higher operating costs, unfavorable product mix and currency translation headwinds.
Adjusted EPS was $3.19 for full year 2020 compared to Adjusted EPS of $2.82 for full year 2019.
The Adjusted Tax Rate was 24.5% in 2020, compared to 26.4% in 2019. The 2020 Adjusted Tax Rate was favorably impacted by the U.S. GILTI regulations issued in 2020.
Cash Flow and Net Debt
Cash flow provided by operating activities for 2020 was $737 million, compared to cash provided by operating activities of $511 million in the prior year. The increase in operating cash flow was primarily driven by higher earnings. Trade working capital, net, which is defined as customer receivables and inventory less customer advance payments and accounts payable, was a source of cash of $14 million in 2020 compared to a source of cash of $16 million in 2019. Capital expenditures were $181 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to $190 million in the year ended December 31, 2019. Free cash flow, defined as net cash provided by operating activities, less capital expenditures, was $556 million for the full year, compared to $321 million in the prior year.
During the year ended December 31, 2020, the Company paid cash dividends of $100 million and settled share repurchases of approximately 821,000 shares, or $33 million. The Company had $675 million remaining under the current Board authorized share repurchase program, as of December 31, 2020.
Net Debt, defined as total debt less cash and cash equivalents, decreased to $3.2 billion as of December 31, 2020 from $3.6 billion as of December 31, 2019. The decrease in Net Debt is primarily attributable to higher cash on hand in the current year. As of December 31, 2020, Sealed Air had approximately $1.7 billion of liquidity available, comprised of $549 million in cash and $1,146 million of undrawn, committed credit facilities. The Company does not have any debt maturities until August 2022.
Outlook for Full Year 2021
For the full year 2021, Sealed Air expects net sales in the range of $5.1 billion to $5.2 billion, which represents an increase of 4.5% to 6.5% growth as reported and 2.5% to 4.5% in constant dollars. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be in the range of $1.10 billion to $1.13 billion, which includes favorable currency translation of approximately 2%. The Company forecasts Adjusted EPS to be in the range of $3.25 to $3.40, which is based on approximately 157 million shares outstanding and an anticipated Adjusted Tax Rate of 26% to 27%.
Free Cash Flow in 2021 is expected to be $500 million to $550 million, with capital expenditures of approximately $210 million and Reinvent SEE restructuring and associated payments of approximately $40 million.
Conference Call Information
Sealed Air Corporation will host a conference call and webcast on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. (ET) to discuss the Company's Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 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
Sealed Air is in business to protect, to solve critical packaging challenges and to leave our world better than we found it. Our solutions and systems include CRYOVAC® brand food packaging, SEALED AIR® brand protective packaging, AUTOBAG® brand automated systems and BUBBLE WRAP® brand packaging, which collectively enable a more efficient, secure and less wasteful global food supply chain and enhance commerce through fulfillment and packaging solutions to protect the worldwide movement of goods.
Sealed Air’s industry-leading expertise in science, engineering, and innovation transforms businesses, industries, and consumers’ lives. The company continues to expand its portfolio of next-generation sustainable solutions including packaging materials, automated systems, and smart services to deliver savings and create measurable long-term value.
Sealed Air generated $4.9 billion in sales in 2020 and has approximately 16,500 employees who serve customers in 115 countries. To learn more, visit www.sealedair.com.
We routinely post important information for investors on our website, 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 and results of operations. 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 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 2019 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.