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Published: Thursday, 1/27/2011

Venezuelan takeover deals O-I loss for 2010

A government takeover of two Owens-Illinois Inc. plants in Venezuela last year resulted in net losses last year for the glass bottlemaker.

Perrysburg-based O-I reported a loss of $47 million, or 28 cents a share, for 2010, compared to a profit of $162 million, or 95 cents, in 2009. Sales for last year were $6.63 billion, down slightly from $6.65 billion the year before.

Last year's performance included a $329 million write-off in the fourth quarter from the loss of O-I's Venezuela operations, which were expropriated by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in October.

The company originally said last month that it expected to take a $335 million hit for the Venezuelan takeover.

The company, which added 10 plants and built three glass furnaces last year, stated more positive earnings for continuing operations: $1.55 a share last year, compared with 65 cents a share the year before.

In spite of the annual loss, O-I said its results were boosted by organic sales growth in South America and several deals in emerging markets in Latin America and southeast Asia, such as a joint venture formed in May with Thailand's Berli Jucker Public Co. Ltd., and the acquisition in September of Brazilian glassmaker Companhia Industrial de Vidros.

CEO Al Stroucken said in the statement that O-I's investments are expected to result in "improved financial performance" for 2011.

"Shipments should increase due to organic growth and benefits from recent acquisitions," he said. "To support future profitable growth, we will invest in our sales, marketing, and innovation capabilities."

For the fourth quarter, O-I reported a loss of $412 million, or $2.52 a share, compared to a loss of $159 million, or 95 cents a share, for the same quarter in 2009. The company reported quarterly sales of $1.73 billion, down from $1.74 billion for the period a year earlier.

-- Sheena Harrison

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