Sealed Air Corporation (NYSE:SEE) Q1 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Apr 30, 2015 • 08:30 am ET
Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Quarter 1 2015 Sealed Air Earnings Conference Call. My name is Mark, and I will be your operator for today. (Operator Instructions). As a reminder, this call is being recorded for replay purposes.
I would like to turn the call over to Lori Chaitman, Vice President of Investor Relations. Please proceed, ma'am.
Thank you, and good morning, everyone. Before we begin our call today, I would like to note that we have provided a slide presentation to help guide our discussion. This presentation can be found on today's webcast and can be downloaded from our IR website at sealedair.com.
(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements). We also discuss financial measures that do not conform to US GAAP. You may find important information on our use of these measures and their reconciliation to US GAAP in the financial tables that we have included in our earnings release. Please note that we will end the call by 9:30 today.
Now I'll turn the call over to Jerome Peribere, our President and CEO. Jerome?
Thank you, Lori, and good morning, everyone. At this point, I'm sure that you had the chance to review our press release and earnings results for the first quarter. I have to say that I'm very pleased with our results, and we had a great start off to the year.
We stayed disciplined throughout the quarter and delivered on our objectives despite heavy currency headwinds. Net sales of $1.7 billion are down 4.4% as reported, but in constant dollars, net sales were up 3.5% compared to last year's first quarter.
Each division and all regions delivered constant-dollar sales growth and favorable price mix. The combination of favorable price mix and lower input costs resulted in a gross margin improvement of over 200 basis points, with strong performance in both Food Care and Product Care.
For adjusted EBITDA, we delivered $284 million or 16.3% of net sales despite $22 million of unfavorable currency translation. This represents a 260 basis point margin improvement and, in constant dollars, an increase of 22% compared to last year's performance.
Food Care delivered adjusted EBITDA of 21.7%, and Product Care adjusted EBITDA was 20%. Diversey Care was hit the hardest by currency but still delivered 6% adjusted EBITDA growth on a constant-dollar basis. I will leave the details on the financials and business trends to Carol and our guest executive speaker, Ken Chrisman, who is the President of our Product Care division.
Before I pass the call to Carol and Ken, I want to highlight a few items. As we have communicated many times, we are very committed to a disciplined approach to portfolio management, with a focus on innovation and becoming a knowledge-based company. In alignment with this strategy, in March, we acquired the assets of Intellibot Robotics, a startup US-based private company that pioneered the development of robotic commercial floor cleaning machines. Intellibot is really the only currently selling advanced robotics floor care machine outside of the consumer