Strong beer sales in Europe helped boost Owens-Illinois (O-I’s) first quarter profits.
Global volumes were up 2% year over year with European volumes up by 6% driven by strong beer performance as well as wine.
Net sales in the first quarter of 2014 were $1.6 billion, on par with the prior year first quarter, although segment operating profit was $218 million, down $8 million compared with the prior year first quarter.
In South America, O-I’s Brazil operations also reported higher sales volumes, though those were offset by a weakness in sales in the Andean countries.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Al Stroucken said, "In Europe, we were especially pleased to see a positive volume impact coupled with the clear benefits from our restructuring efforts. Record-setting snow and cold in North America dampened profitability in the quarter, despite modest volume growth.”