Meadwestvaco Corporation (NYSE:MWV) Q1 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Apr 29, 2015 • 10:00 am ET

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Meadwestvaco Corporation (NYSE:MWV) Q1 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to the MeadWestvaco First Quarter Results Conference Call. At this time, all phone participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, there will be an opportunity for your questions. Instructions will be given at that time. (Operator Instructions) And as a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Jason Thompson, Director of Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Executive
Jason Thompson

Thanks, Gail; and good morning, everyone. John Luke, Bob Beckler and Mark Rajkowski are here to review MWV's first quarter results. And we also have Bob Feeser here for Q&A as well.

Today, we've scheduled 45 minutes for our call. And the notification for this call was broadly disclosed and is being webcast at mwv.com, where slides are also available. Our results and commentary are presented on a continuing operations basis and are correct as of today, but could include time-sensitive information that is subject to change.

(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements)

I'll now turn the call over to our Chairman and CEO, John Luke.

Executive
John Luke

Jason, thanks very much; and good morning, everyone. MWV's first quarter results demonstrate that the fundamentals of our business are strong as is the forward momentum of our business strategy. We delivered very solid performance in the face of external challenges, including slower consumer demand in some markets and unfavorable currency exchange impacts.

Our earnings improvement compared to last year reflects clear benefits we continue to generate from our commercial strategies, operating excellence initiatives and cost reduction actions. And our outlook is positive, as we fully (technical difficulty) momentum into our merger with RockTenn.

As we prepare to create the premier global packaging company, there is tremendous excitement in both companies and in our markets about the complementary capabilities and the opportunities before us to serve the growing global packaging marketplace. Our engagement and planning over the last three months on both strategy and (technical difficulty) further validate the strength of our combination, which is on track to be completed in the current quarter.

On synergies, let me just note that we're making excellent progress toward our stated goals. And as we've worked together, we've identified additional opportunities that I'm confident Steve will share at an appropriate time in the future.

Overall, everything that we are seeing gives us great confidence that the combined company will generate very attractive long-term shareholder returns. As we move forward, we remain very focused on driving continued improvement in our margin profile by strengthening our leading market positions, introducing new products, capitalizing on recent investments, improving productivity and further reducing other costs. I'll offer a few examples.

First, we recently announced the acquisition of Carolina Commercial Print business from International Paper. This is an opportunity for us to be the leader in a very attractive niche in the printing and specialty packaging market. And we're very enthusiastic about the productivity advantages this will bring to our Covington mill.

Second, we continue to make strong progress in Brazil,