TOLEDO, Ohio-Reduced expenses and more favorable tax rates fueled Libbey to huge gains in net income for both its fourth quarter and fiscal year.
The tabletop manufacturer posted an increase of 477.8 percent in fourth-quarter net income, to $9.3 million. This brought Libbey’s bottom line for the fiscal year, which ended on Dec. 31, to $28.5 million, up 385.4 percent from the prior fiscal year.
For both periods, Libbey benefited from what CEO Stephanie Streeter termed “a much-improved cost platform.” Streeter added, “Our restructuring initiatives over the last two years have strengthened our cost position considerably, and we are now focused on maintaining the hard-won margin increase and profitably growing our business.”
Selling, general and administrative expenses in the quarter fell 9.8 percent in dollars and 152 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 12.9 percent. Gross margin rose 116 basis points to 21.5 percent. In addition, Libbey’s effective tax rate in the quarter was 42.5 percent, compared to 67.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Net sales in the quarter edged up 0.9 percent to $221 million, bringing net sales for the year to $818.8 million, down 0.8 percent from fiscal 2012. The quarter saw a 1.4 percent decline in sales in the Americas, much of which was due to a 10 percent plunge in sales to the retail channel. Sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa rose 8.2 percent in the quarter.
For the year, sales in the Americas were down 3.4 percent, with sales to the retail channel off 7.7 percent. Sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa increased 8.7 percent.
Streeter said, “We look forward to a stronger sales environment in 2014 and the opportunity to better leverage our global capabilities.”