2 May 2007 — Richmond (VA): MeadWestvaco’s consumer and office products segment’s Q1 operating loss was $2 million, compared to an operating loss of $5 million in 2006. The segment’s sales of $201 million increased by three percent from $195 million in the prior year quarter.
In a statement the company said: "An enhanced product mix from the company’s focus on value-added products and manufacturing productivity improvements were offset by higher costs for raw materials, principally uncoated paper. A solid back to school season in the segment’s Brazilian business also contributed to improved results. This segment continues to be impacted by Asian-based imported products."
As a whole, the company reported a Q1 net loss of $16 million, or $0.09 per share. Sales in the first quarter were $1.55 billion, an increase of eight percent compared to sales of $1.43 billion in the first quarter of 2006. Included in the quarter’s results were after-tax restructuring charges of $10 million related to employee separation costs and facility closures.
John Luke, chairman and CEO, said: "Our strategies to generate profitable growth in our core packaging businesses are working. Pricing actions, an enhanced product mix and better overall productivity in the packaging businesses improved our operating performance compared to last year.
"We are responding to good demand in many of our key markets with an aggressive focus on execution and implementation of our strategies for profitable growth – including innovative product development and emerging markets expansion. With these efforts and continued price increases to offset cost inflation, we expect to generate meaningful improvements in all key performance metrics in 2007."