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Graphic Packaging Holding Company Reports Strong First Quarter 2022 Results: Delivers Organic Sales Growth, Margin Expansion and Significant Increase in EBITDA Year over Year

Press release from the issuing company

Q1 2022 Highlights

  • Net Sales were $2,245 million versus $1,649 million in the prior year quarter.

    Net Organic Sales increased 3% versus the prior year quarter driven by increased demand for innovative fiber-based packaging solutions and expansion into new market segments and geographies.
  • Net Income was $107 million versus $54 million in the prior year quarter.
  • Adjusted EBITDA was $350 million versus $240 million in the prior year quarter.
  • Earnings per Diluted Share were $0.35 versus $0.19 in the prior year quarter.
  • Adjusted Earnings per Diluted Share (excluding amortization of purchased intangibles) were $0.48 versus $0.27 in the prior year quarter.
  • Integration of recently expanded European platform continued; on track to deliver $40 million of synergies over three years.
  • New K2 Coated Recycled Paperboard (CRB) machine in Kalamazoo, Michigan began operating and the ramp in production is meeting expectations; on track to achieve $50 million in incremental EBITDA in 2022 and $130 million in incremental EBITDA over three years.
  • Global liquidity was $1,078 million at quarter end.

ATLANTA -- Graphic Packaging Holding Company, (the "Company"), a leading provider of sustainable fiber-based packaging solutions to food, beverage, foodservice, and other consumer products companies, today reported Net Income for first quarter 2022 of $107 million, or $0.35 per share, based upon 309.7 million weighted average diluted shares. This compares to first quarter 2021 Net Income of $54 million, or $0.19 per share, based upon 277.2 million weighted average diluted shares.

The first quarters of 2022 and 2021 were impacted by a net $25 million and a net $11 million of special charges, respectively. Beginning this quarter, Adjusted Net Income will include adjustments for amortization related to purchased intangible assets, net of tax. The first quarters of 2022 and 2021 were impacted by $17 million and $11 million of amortization related to purchased intangibles, respectively. When adjusting for both types of charges, Adjusted Net Income for the first quarter of 2022 was $149 million, or $0.48 per diluted share. This compares to first quarter 2021 Adjusted Net Income of $76 million, or $0.27 per diluted share.

Michael Doss, the Company's President and CEO said, "During the first quarter we achieved important milestones on the journey to realize our enhanced Vision 2025 goals. While executing another solid quarter with 3% net organic sales growth, we continued to integrate our recently expanded European platform and began operating the new K2 CRB machine in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In addition, we successfully implemented pricing actions to offset an unprecedented inflationary environment. Importantly, the successful execution of our transformational CRB optimization project will drive benefits for the Company, our employees, and our customers for decades to come as we produce the highest quality, lowest cost CRB in North America. Our business is expanding into new market segments and geographies, and we are executing at a high level as a global team."

Doss added, "While we continue to strengthen capabilities and expand innovative offerings for customers, we are also optimizing our global production network, driving efficiencies and best-in-class customer service. Progress toward our Vision 2025 will be on full display this year as many of the critical initiatives we have put in motion over the last three years positively impact our financial results. We remain fully committed to achieving strong growth and profitability as reflected in our financial guidance for 2022 and are on track to accomplish the long-term goals established with our enhanced Vision 2025."

Operating Results

Net Sales
Net Sales increased 36% to $2,245 million in the first quarter of 2022, compared to $1,649 million in the prior year period. The $596 million increase was driven by $222 million of positive price and $385 million of improved volume/mix related to organic growth from conversions to fiber-based packaging solutions and acquisitions, partially offset by $11 million of unfavorable foreign exchange.

EBITDA
EBITDA for the first quarter of 2022 was $335 million, or $107 million higher than the first quarter of 2021. After adjusting both periods for business combinations and other special charges, Adjusted EBITDA was $350 million in the first quarter of 2022 versus $240 million in the first quarter of 2021. When comparing against the prior year quarter, Adjusted EBITDA in the first quarter of 2022 was positively impacted by $222 million in pricing, $68 million in volume/mix, $14 million in net productivity and $1 million of favorable foreign exchange. This was partially offset by $176 million of commodity input cost inflation and $19 million of other inflation.

Other Results
Total Debt (Long-Term, Short-Term and Current Portion) increased $136 million during the first quarter of 2022 to $5,967 million compared to the fourth quarter of 2021. Total Net Debt (Total Debt, net of Cash and Cash Equivalents) increased $197 million during the first quarter of 2022 to $5,856 million compared to the fourth quarter of 2021. The Company returned $23 million in capital to stockholders in the first quarter 2022 in dividends. The Company's first quarter 2022 Net Leverage Ratio was 5.02 times Adjusted EBITDA compared to 5.36 times at the end of 2021.

At March 31, 2022, the Company had available liquidity of $1,078 million, including the undrawn availability under its global revolving credit facilities.

Net Interest Expense was $42 million in the first quarter of 2022, higher when compared to $30 million reported in the first quarter of 2021 due primarily to higher debt balances.

Capital expenditures for the first quarter of 2022 were $223 million, up compared to $146 million in the first quarter of 2021, primarily due to project completion expenses with the K2 machine and CRB platform investment in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

First quarter 2022 Income Tax Expense was $46 million, higher when compared to $18 million in the first quarter of 2021 as the result of a one-time tax expense.

Please note that a tabular reconciliation of Net Organic Sales Growth, EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA margin, Adjusted Net Income, Adjusted EPS (Excluding Amortization of Purchased Intangibles), Adjusted Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities, Adjusted Cash Flow and Total Net Debt is attached to this release.

Earnings Call
The Company will host a conference call at 10:00 a.m. EST today (April 26, 2022) to discuss the results of first quarter 2022. The conference call will be webcast and can be accessed from the Investors section of the Graphic Packaging website at www.graphicpkg.com. Participants may also listen via telephone by referencing conference ID 546520 and dialing:

844-200-6205 from the United States,
833-950-0062 from Canada, and
929-526-1599 from outside the United States and Canada.

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