Greif sales down

Greif reported a fall in net sales for its rigid packaging & services division in the first quarter of 2016.

Net sales decreased to US$534.9 million for the first quarter compared with $649.7 million for Q1 2015. Excluding the impact of divestitures, net sales decreased $94.1 million compared against Q1 2015 due primarily to the negative impact of foreign currency.

Operating loss was $2.6 million compared with an operating profit of $20.2 million in the previous year’s quarter. The decrease was primarily attributable to $36.8 million of non-cash asset impairment charges incurred during the first quarter related to the pending divestiture of a non-core business.

Operating profit before special items and excluding the impact of divestitures was $35.5 million versus $23.3 million for the first quarter of 2015, due primarily to improvements in gross profit margin and reductions in SG&A costs related to transformation efforts across the division, partially offset by a foreign currency negative impact.