USA – American packaging company Sonoco has reported record third-quarter sales of US$1.32 billion, a 9.6% increase from US$1.21 billion for the same period in 2016 with gross profit 6.6% higher at US$250.9 million.

The company reported a net income amounting to US$73.4 million, also 11.3% increase on the same quarter last year.

According to FoodBev, Sonoco president and chief executive officer Jack Sanders said the milestone results were a result of Sonoco’s ‘Grow and Optimize’ strategy.

“Sonoco’s Grow and Optimize strategy continues to gain momentum as we grew top-line results by nearly 10% to an all-time quarterly record, while bottom-line results were near the high end of our guidance.

Our businesses were well managed during the quarter, as the company benefited from strong improvements to total productivity and a positive price-cost relationship,” said Sanders.

“In looking at the performance of our business segments, we were extremely pleased with the record sales and operating profit generated by our Consumer Packaging segment, particularly in a challenging consumer packaged food market.

In addition, our Paper and Industrial Converted Products business registered a 27% improvement in operating profit, while producing its best third-quarter results in three years.

Results in our Protective Solutions and Display and Packaging segments lagged last year’s quarter, but each registered sequential quarterly improvement as we continue to adjust these businesses to changing market conditions.”

Sonoco acquired Illinois-based Clear Lam Packaging for US$170 million in February, following similar deals for fresh produce packager Peninsula and flexible packaging manufacturer Plastic Packaging in February and November respectively.

The US$230 million buyout of Peninsula Packaging was not enough to halt a downturn in first-quarter sales, but the company said it expected to improve its return for investors in the coming year.

Sonoco chief operating officer Rob Tiede also said the addition of Clear Lam provides significant technological advantages, as well as offering the ability to drive synergies for Sonoco‘s existing flexible and thermoforming customers.