Interest charge

Ardagh records €685m loss in indictment against US glass firm

Ardagh Group, the glass and metal packaging giant led by Irishman Paul Coulson, suffered a loss of $766 million (685 million euros) last year as it wrote down the value of its northern business American Glass Company and absorbing significant transaction costs, including from the spin-off of its beverage can unit.

The net loss, which compares to a profit of $35 million for 2020, included an impairment charge of $395 million as it wrote down the carrying value of its Ardagh Glass Packaging North America unit, in part due to the change in the company’s earnings forecast as it weighed its ability to pass on rising input costs to customers.

The company also recorded $415 million in transaction and other costs last year, including an accounting charge related to last August’s reversal of its beverage can division into a New York-listed cash shell. Ardagh retains a 75% stake in the US-listed company, which has been renamed Ardagh Metal Packaging (AMP).

While Ardagh incurred $34 million in professional support and other costs following a cyberattack last May that forced it to shut down some of its systems as a precaution, the ultimate financial impact was $5 million, net of insurance coverage, he said Thursday.

The group’s revenue rose to $7.58 billion last year, from $6.73 billion in 2020, amid growing demand for sustainable packaging and as the company passes on the rise input costs, including energy, where possible on customers.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased from $1.16 billion to $1.25 billion.

Ardagh itself floated to New York in 2017 after an initial public offering (IPO) that saw equity investors take an 8% stake in the company. Most of them opted at the end of last year to swap their Ardagh shares for shares in AMP, resulting in the delisting of the parent group.

It was reported in December that Ardagh and a Canadian fund for teachers planned to bring their specialty food and metal can joint venture to market this year, in a deal that could deliver enterprise value over $4 billion to the company, including debt. .

Trivium, in which Ardagh has a 42% stake, had $2.7 billion in borrowings at the end of December.