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Global volumes up, boosting O-I profits

Owens-Illinois Inc. said Wednesday global volumes were higher for the first time in nearly two years, helping the glass-bottle maker to a third quarter profit of $132 million.

That is about $40 million higher than the company’s earnings in the same period last year, an increase of 43 percent.

O-I, based in Perrysburg, released its third quarter financial results after the stock markets closed on Wednesday. The company’s $132 million quarterly profit equals 79 cents a share. In 2012, the company had a profit of $92 million, or 55 cents a share, in the third quarter.

Net sales rose slightly to $1.78 billion. That was due primarily strength in Europe. O-I said sales there were $733 million, up 12 percent from last year. Growth in the food, wine, and beer segments helped boost volumes, and O-I said it is showing some success in winning back wine customers across southern Europe.

Some of the higher volumes in Europe were essentially a carryover from the second quarter, however. O-I said a delayed harvest pushed volume that would have been seen in the second quarter into the third quarter.

Sales were up slightly in North America, while sales fell in both South America and Asia. O-I said the drop in South American sales — more than 12 percent — was due to an economic slowdown and a large labor strike in Colombia.

Global volumes were up 2 percent. O-I said it was the first time in seven quarters volumes had been higher year-over-year.

“Overall, our operations delivered strong results for the quarter, and we again benefited from our broad geographic footprint,” Al Stroucken, O-I’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Shares of O-I stock were down 7 cents, closing at $30.57 on Wednesday ahead of the announcement. Year to date, O-I’s stock price is up nearly 44 percent.

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