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AptarGroup closing two plants in Europe, shifts spending to developing countries

By: Michael Lauzon

February 8, 2013

CRYSTAL LAKE, ILL. -- Dispensing systems manufacturer AptarGroup Inc. said it plans to curtail operations in Europe and pick up capital spending in developing countries.

Aptar said in a Feb. 8 teleconference call that it will close a facility in Italy and one in Switzerland. Officials did not identify the closures. On its website the Crystal Lake, Ill., firm said it runs manufacturing plants in San Giacomo, Pescare and San Giovanni in Italy, and Neuchatel in Switzerland. It runs 12 other facilities in Europe.

The closures are part of Aptar's European operations plan to optimize Aptar's footprint on the continent. The reorganization will result in charges of $4.9 million against expenses, $1.6 million in non-cash costs and $3.3 million in severance payments.

The firm's financial performance in Europe was flat in 2012. Weakness in North America was offset by demand in Asian and Latin America.

Aptar recently expanded in North Carolina and is investing more in developing countries. Among the new products on which it is relying on growth are anti-bacterial dispensers to be sold by consumer major S.C. Johnson.

Aptar President and CEO said "Significant increases in the U.S. raw material costs, primarily plastic resins, will create headwinds in the first quarter due to the timing of the pass-through of these increases to our customers."

Aptar logged sales of about $2.3 billion in 2012, essentially equal to sales of the previous year. Net income at $162.4 million was down from $183.6 million.