From Berry Global to WestRock, we take a look at the six best performing packaging companies by its operating profit in 2019

Emptied cardboard box

Cardboard manufacturers feature heavily on the top packaging companies by operating profit (Credit: Wikimedia)

Market researcher Smithers Pira predicts the global packaging market will grow by 2.9% to reach $980bn by 2022, with the industry having passed at $850bn in 2017.

Driving this predicted surge are some of the world’s biggest packaging companies, many of which have released their fiscal results in recent weeks.

From cardboard makers to plastic manufacturers, we take a look at some of the world’s biggest packaging firms, ranking them on their operating profit for the first six months of 2019, compared with the same period in 2018.


Six best-performing packaging companies by operating profit

6. Berry Global ($576m)

Plastic packaging producer Berry Global unveiled its third quarterly figures at the end of last month, and reported an operating profit of $576m from the start of 2019, an increase of $9m of over the course of same period from 2018.

The company also saw an increase in net sales, increasing from $5.81bn to $5.85bn, but recorded a net income of $175m, a marked drop from the $363m recorded in 2018.

Its total assets have also dropped from $9.1bn as of September 2018 to $8.8bn.

Since its results have been published, Berry Global’s share price on the New York Stock exchange has dropped by just under 18%, from a price of $66.91 at the close of the market on 29 July to $52.99 on 1 August.

The company did, however, complete the $6.5bn purchase of British plastic packaging company RPC Group at the start of July.


5. Ball Corporation ($611m)

The US-based manufacturer of metal container packaging, Ball Corporation, recorded a slight drop in operating earnings compared to the first half of 2018, going down from $618m to $611m.

It also recorded a decrease in net sales, going down from $5.86bn to $5.8bn, although it did see an increase of just under $100m in earnings before interest and taxes, going up from $469m to $529m.

The long-term debt recorded by the company went down, dropping from $7.1bn to $6.9bn, with its total liabilities and equities decreasing from $17.5bn to $17.1bn.

Since the financial report was released on the 25 July, Ball Corporation’s share price has gone up by 2.9%.


4. Smurfit Kappa ($619m)

Irish paper packaging giant Smurfit Kappa saw an increase of 9% in operating profits in the first half of 2019 compared to the first half of last year, making a $619m profit compared to a $586m in 2018.

The company also recorded an increase in revenue compared to the year before, which was recorded at $5.1bn, a 4% increase.

Smurfit Kappa did however also record an increase in net debt from last year, going up from $3.1bn in 2018 to $3.7bn in 2019.

Since the release of its financial report, Smurfit Kappa’s share price has dropped by 1.2%, with the price going from $31.42 at the close on the 31 July to $31.05.


3. Mondi Group ($753m)

South-African paper and packaging company Mondi Group recorded a more than $100m increase when compared to its operating profit in the first half of 2018, going up from $588m to $753m.

It’s also seen a big increase in profit before tax, going up from $543m to $701m, along with a decrease in net debt from $2.6bn to $2.5bn.

Since being released on 1 August, the share price for Mondi has dropped by 6.2%, going down from $20.70 to $19.65.


2. WestRock ($1bn)

American Paper packager WestRock’s operating profit made a more than $200m jump from $764m in 2018 to $1bn in 2019.

The company also recorded a net sales margin of well over $1bn, going from $12bn last year to $13.6bn this year.

Since the fiscal results were released by WestRock on 1 August, the company’s market share has dropped from by around 1%, going from $45.12 to $43.90.


 1. International Paper ($1.5bn)

Although recording an operating profit of $1.5bn, International Paper also registered a drop from 2018.

The company also saw a slight drop in net sales, going from $11.4bn to $11.3bn, with its industrial packaging business recording a drop of more than $100m, going from $9.3bn to $9.1bn.

Since its fiscal report was released, the share price for International Paper has dropped from 4.2% to -3.2% (as of 1 August) with its price going from $55.78 to $51.81.