Avery Dennison Corp AVY
Q1 2013 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 04/24/2013

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. During the presentation all participants will be in a listen-only mode. Afterwards we will conduct a question-and-answer session. Welcome to Avery Dennison's Earnings Conference Call for the First Quarter Ended March 30, 2013. This call is being recorded and will be available for replay from 1.00 pm Pacific Time today through midnight Pacific Time, April 26th. To access the replay, please dial 1-800-633-8284 or 1-402-977-9140 for international callers. The conference ID number is 21610812.

I would now like to turn the call over to Eric Leeds, Avery Dennison's Head of Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.

Eric M. Leeds - Head of IR: Thank you. Welcome everyone. Today, we'll discuss our preliminary unaudited first quarter 2013 results. Please note that unless otherwise indicated, today's discussion will be focused on our continuing operations. The Company's Office and Consumer Products and Designed and Engineered Solutions businesses are classified on our income statement as discontinued operations.

The non-GAAP financial measures that we use are defined, qualified and reconciled with GAAP in schedules A-2 to A-4 of the financial statements accompanying today's earnings release. We remind you that we'll make certain predictive statements that reflect our current views and estimates about our future performance and financial results. These forward-looking statements are made subject to the Safe Harbor statement included in today's earnings release.

On the call today are Dean Scarborough, Chairman, President and CEO; and Mitch Butier, Senior Vice President and CFO.

I'll now turn the call over to Dean.

Dean A. Scarborough - Chairman, President and CEO: Thanks, Eric and good day, everyone. First quarter results were in line with our expectations, highlighted by strong sales growth in emerging markets for Pressure-sensitive Materials and another good top line performance by Retail Branding and Information Solutions. Higher volumes and the benefits of our restructuring program drove a substantial increase in earnings per share over the first quarter 2012.

We are also on track to deliver strong annual free cash flow. Typically, we're a user of cash in the first half of the year and we ended the quarter where we expected to. During the quarter, we returned nearly $90 million to shareholders through dividends and the repurchase of approximately 1.5 million.

Regarding the dividend, the Board will conduct its annual review at its meeting tomorrow. As we announced last December, the Board has moved its annual consideration of a dividend increase from December to April.

Turning to the businesses, Pressure-sensitive Materials delivered solid overall results again, driven by strong sales of Label and Packaging Materials in emerging markets with modest growth in mature markets. Operating margin expanded and was within our long-term target range reflecting higher volumes and the productivity gains from integrating Graphics and Reflective into our Label and Packaging business.

Trends for our Retail Branding and Information Solutions continued from the back half of 2012 with continued growth in the core business and strong growth in RFID. Sales to U.S. and emerging market retailers and brands grew by double-digit percentages. I was encouraged by the mid-single-digit growth from European-based retailers and brands. Based on the latest import data, we're continuing to gain market share.

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