Full-year net sales increased 8.2% to $7.16 billion, and fourth quarter net sales rose 1.9% to $1.77 billion. For 2018, reported EPS was $5.28, incl. pension settlement charges, with adjusted EPS of $6.06.
“2018 marked the company’s seventh consecutive year of strong top-line growth, margin expansion, and double-digit adjusted EPS growth,” said Mitch Butier, president and CEO. “Organic growth for the year was largely driven by volume, as we continue to benefit from our focus on high-value categories and leadership position in faster-growing emerging markets.
“Label and Graphic Materials delivered strong organic growth while maintaining strong operating margins in the face of significant raw material inflation. Retail Branding and Information Solutions’ operating income once again rose significantly, reflecting outstanding performance in both top-line growth and margin expansion. And, in a challenging year, Industrial and Healthcare Materials made progress with its margin turnaround,” Butier added.
“For 2019, we are targeting continued progress toward our 2021 goals,” said Butier. “Notwithstanding a significant headwind from currency translation and an uncertain economic climate, we expect to deliver solid top- and bottom-line growth.
Fourth Quarter 2018 Results by Segment
Label and Graphic Materials reported that sales increased 1.7%. On an organic basis, sales grew 4.7%. Operating margin increased 60 basis points to 12.7%.
Retail Branding and Information Solutions reported that sales increased by 4.2%; on an organic basis, sales grew 6.9%, driven by strength in both the base business and RFID. Operating margin increased 50 basis points to 11.6%.
Industrial and Healthcare Materials reported that sales declined 1.6%. On an organic basis, sales grew 0.7%, driven by solid growth in industrial categories in North America and Europe and healthcare globally, largely offset by a decline in industrial products for the North Asia market (a category that represents roughly 1% of total company sales). Operating margin increased 270 basis points to 10.3%.