ATLANTA, Nov. 05, 2018 -- WestRock Company (NYSE:WRK), a leading provider of differentiated paper and packaging solutions, today announced results for its fiscal fourth quarter and fiscal year ended September 30, 2018.
Fourth Quarter 2018 Highlights
- Earned $1.08 per diluted share, a 42% increase compared to $0.76 per diluted share in the prior year quarter.
- Earned $1.29 of adjusted earnings per diluted share, a 48% increase compared to the $0.87 of adjusted earnings per diluted share in the prior year quarter.
- Increased Corrugated Packaging Segment EBITDA by $162 million, or 42%, compared to the prior year quarter. The segment delivered Segment EBITDA margin of 22.9% and North American Adjusted Segment EBITDA margin of 25.4%, up 570 and 620 basis points, respectively, compared to the prior year quarter.
- The effective tax rate for the quarter was 25.4% and the adjusted tax rate was 20.8%.
Full Year 2018 and Other Highlights
- Completed the acquisition of KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation ("KapStone") on November 2, 2018.
- Earned $7.34 per diluted share and $4.09 of adjusted earnings per diluted share compared to $2.77 and $2.62, respectively, in the prior year.
- Achieved consolidated Segment EBITDA of $2.89 billion and Adjusted Segment EBITDA of $2.89 billion compared to $2.26 billion and $2.29 billion, respectively, in the prior year.
- Increased Corrugated Packaging Segment EBITDA by $533 million, or 39%, compared to the prior year. The segment delivered Segment EBITDA margin of 20.7% and North American Adjusted Segment EBITDA margin of 22.6%, up 460 and 510 basis points, respectively, compared to the prior year.
- Generated net cash provided by operating activities of $2.42 billion and adjusted operating cash flow of $2.46 billion compared to $1.9 billion and $2.0 billion in the prior year, respectively.
- Achieved the $1 billion synergy and performance improvements goal the company set at the inception of WestRock in 2015, and achieved $246 million of productivity year-over-year.
- Executed disciplined capital allocation strategy:
• Invested $1.0 billion in capital expenditures
• Deployed $348 million to strategic acquisitions and investments
• Paid $441 million in dividends
• Returned $195 million to stockholders in stock repurchases
- Announced a 5.8% increase in annual dividend to an annualized rate of $1.82 per share.
"The WestRock team delivered strong financial and operating results for both the fourth quarter and the fiscal year," said Steve Voorhees, chief executive officer. "Our North American Corrugated Packaging business had an especially outstanding year, and we continue to advance our differentiated strategy focused on achieving operational excellence and delivering value for our customers. Now, with the addition of KapStone, we have expanded our portfolio of paper and packaging solutions for our customers, and look forward to building on our success in fiscal 2019."