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Economy

Libbey’s 3rd quarter profit doubles from a year ago

Sales up 1%; company’s shares hit 52-week peak

Libbey Inc. reported a strong profit but relatively flat sales for the third quarter.

The Toledo-based glassware and tableware manufacturer reported a profit of $14.9 million, or 71 cents a share, for the quarter ending Sept. 30. That’s more than double the $7.1 million, or 35 cents a share, for the same quarter last year.

Sales were up only about 1 percent, from $207.2 million to $209.2 million.

“We are pleased with this quarter’s results, driven in large part by the increased focus on driving down costs and defending and growing our key markets, the core of our recently announced strategic plan,” Stephanie A. Streeter, the company’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Libbey announced in July that it would try to strengthen and grow the company by changing business strategy to one based on regional leadership, instead of global leadership.

It also said it would eliminate 5 percent of its global managerial, professional, and administrative work force in the process. In September, it raised that figure to 9 percent.

It announced changes to the retirement benefits of U.S. salaried workers and changes in some retirees’ health-care benefits. Those changes will take effect Jan. 1.

“Decisions to eliminate jobs are very difficult to make, but they are necessary in order to reduce our costs … and better position Libbey for the future,” Ms. Streeter said at the time.

Investors seem to be happy with Libbey's direction. The company's stock closed yesterday at a 52-week high of $17.03, up $2.01 a share.

That’s up more than 13 percent from Wednesday’s close.

Its stock was trading as low as $10.08 early last October. The last time it closed above $17 a share was in April, 2011.

Libbey ships glassware and tableware to more than 100 countries and is the second-largest producer of glassware in the world, behind only ARC International of France.

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