Third-quarter results from the Austrian business have revealed that, while the controversial closure of the plant near Liverpool led to a €9m one-off cost, sales for the January-September period were down 2.1% year-on-year at €1.47bn, while pre-tax profit dropped 3.3% to €124.1m.
Mayr-Melnhof hit the headlines earlier in the year when staff at the facility went on strike over a pay dispute (pictured above). The company responded by locking workers out of the factory and, later, closing it.
In a statement on its performance, the company said: “Against the background of the continuing economic downturn and the customers’ clearly more cautious ordering behavior, the Group’s overall performance was still very successful in the third quarter.”
MM Packaging, the group’s carton production division which runs 31 factories across Europe, reported an operating margin of 10.9%, which was up on the second quarter’s margin of 8.9% when the figures were hit by the cost of the Bootle closure.
The company’s statement added that the cigarette packaging market had made “a particularly important contribution” to the division’s performance.
Meanwhile the MM Karton board production division, which runs seven mills across Europe, reported an operating margin of 8.5%, up from 5.5% in the second quarter.
Other developments highlighted by the company that have brought growth included the acquisition of Columbian folding carton manufacturer Plegacol and the effect of new plants in Poland and Turkey.