“2017 marked the company’s sixth consecutive year of strong top-line growth, margin expansion, and double-digit, adjusted EPS growth,” says Mitch Butier, president/CEO. “Strong top-line performance in 2017 reflected a balance of contributions from acquisitions and organic growth, driven by our focus on faster-growing high value categories and large presence in emerging markets.
“Label and Graphic Materials delivered another year of strong growth and continued margin expansion. Retail Branding and Information Solutions’ operating income rose significantly, reflecting outstanding performance in terms of both top-line growth and margin expansion. And we expanded the platform for Industrial and Healthcare Materials, through both acquisitions and a return to solid organic growth in the back half of the year.
“In 2018, we expect to once again deliver a strong top-line and double-digit EPS growth, while further increasing our level of investment for the future,” adds Butier. “I would like to thank our employees for their dedication to creating superior value for our customers, investors, and the communities in which we operate. We remain confident that the consistent execution of our strategies will enable us to continue this momentum for years to come.”
Fourth Quarter 2017 Results by Segment
Label and Graphic Materials
- Reported sales increased 9.2%. Sales ex. currency increased 5.6%; on an organic basis, sales grew 4.6%. Sales increased mid-single digits on an organic basis in Label and Packaging Materials, as well as in the combined Graphics and Reflective Solutions businesses.
- Reported operating margin increased 60 basis points to 11.9% as the benefits of increased volume and productivity more than offset higher employee-related costs and the net impact of pricing and raw material costs. Adjusted operating margin increased 70 basis points to 12.2%.
Retail Branding and Information Solutions
- Reported sales increased 5.2%; on an organic basis, sales grew 4.7% driven by strength in both RFID and the base business.
- Reported operating margin increased 150 basis points to 10.8% as the benefits from productivity, increased volume, and reduced amortization expense were partially offset by higher employee-related costs and the net impact of pricing and raw material costs. Adjusted operating margin increased 190 basis points to 11.9%.