Libbey says sales grew but profits slipped in 2012


Toledo glassware maker Libbey Inc. announced plans Thursday to realign some of its manufacturing operations in North America and to call $45 million worth of secured note debt as it continues to move toward the company’s 2015 strategic plan goals.

Stephanie A. Streeter, Libbey’s chief executive officer, said the company needs to continue to reduce its costs and become more efficient. Under the tentative manufacturing plan, announced in conjunction with the company’s fourth-quarter financial results, Libbey would quit selling certain items and shift some production away from its plant in Shreveport, La., to facilities in Toledo and Mexico.

She said about 200 jobs would be cut in Shreveport. Current staffing levels would be sufficient to handle the extra work in Toledo and Mexico, she said.

“The changes would enable the company to reorganize our manufacturing footprint and improve asset utilization across our North American facilities,” Ms. Streeter said on a conference call with investors and analysts.

The proposed plan still must be discussed with the United Steelworkers union, which represents the Shreveport workers. Because of that, she declined to elaborate on the plan.

Libbey reported higher fourth-quarter sales in 2012, but profits slipped somewhat from the same period in 2011. The company said it earned $1.6 million, or 7 cents per share, on sales of $219.1 million in the final quarter. In the last quarter of 2011, Libbey earned $2.1 million on sales of $214.8 million.

For the year, Libbey’s sales increased 1 percent to a record $825.3 million. Libbey reported a full year unadjusted profit of $7 million, or 33 cents per share. Last year, Libbey reported a profit of $23.6 million, or $1.14 per share. Libbey’s 2012 profit was lower partially because of a $31 million loss on redemption of debt.

Officials said the redemption of secured note debt will be done sometime in 2012’s second quarter. Libbey is forecasting revenue growth in the low to mid-single digits for 2013. The company’s stock fell 42 cents, or about 2.2 percent, to close at $18.46 a share Thursday.