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BALL CORPORATION TO CLOSE ASHEVILLE, N.C. GLASS CONTAINER MANUFACTURING PLANT

 MUNCIE, Ind., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) announced it is closing its Asheville, N.C. glass container manufacturing facility effective April 6, 1994. The single-furnace plant, which has five lines and employs approximately 300 people, has a daily production capacity of approximately 300 tons of glass. The plant rationalization will reduce Ball's total glass manufacturing capacity by approximately 5 percent. Costs associated with the plant closing, which will be included as part of 1993 results, were not disclosed.
 Ball said the action was the result of its largest glass customer closing a facility that had been served by the Asheville plant and relocating the business into operations which will be served by other Ball plants, as well as a recent decision by another large Asheville plant customer to shift to an alternate supplier.
 "The closing of Asheville should enhance Ball's 1994 performance in our glass container business, which experienced a significant erosion in profitability during 1993 as a result of a slowdown in sales, higher costs, pricing pressures and problems associated with the Ruston, La. glass plant expansion," commented Delmont A. Davis, president and chief executive officer.
 "We expect this action, along with others, to result in a higher rate of capacity utilization, a more competitive cost structure and reduced inventories," said Davis. "In addition, we expect our Ruston plant to be operating at much improved levels in 1994 along with the rest of our glass manufacturing plants."
 Ball also said it is planning to close its Augusta, Wis., food can plant in mid-1994 as a part of the continuing consolidation of Heekin Can into Ball's North American metal packaging organization, and reiterated its previously announced intention to analyze utilization rates carefully throughout all of its businesses in order to align productive capacity more closely with customer demand. These actions should result in lower costs and enhanced shareholder value in 1994.
 The company said that soft sales of food cans and glass containers and extremely competitive market dynamics in the packaging industry, coupled with fourth quarter downtime taken in its glass operations to reduce excess inventories, will probably result in earnings for the fourth quarter that are well below current analysts' mean estimates of 26 cents as reported by First Call.
 Ball Corporation manufactures metal and glass containers for the beverage and food industries and provides aerospace systems and professional services to government and commercial customers. Ball is the nation's largest producer of glass containers for the food industry and the third largest overall supplier of commercial glass bottles and jars in the U.S.
 -0- 1/5/94
 /CONTACT: Harold Sohn, media, 317-747-6483, or Brad Wilks, investors, 317-747-6165, both of Ball Corporation/
 (BLL)


CO: Ball Corporation ST: Indiana, North Carolina IN: PAP ARO SU:

BM -- CL004 -- 9243 01/05/94 09:58 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 5, 1994
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