This week Plastics News publishes its annual ranking of North American film and sheet manufacturers. Let's take a look at the numbers behind the report.
There are 172 firms ranked this year with sales of $35 billion, adding over $600 million to the market vs. a year earlier.
The 2016 average sales per company is $203.6 million, which is 4.7 percent higher than 2015. But statistics can be funny. Although 30 percent of the listed companies did have growth, there are a fewer firms listed this year due to acquisitions.
In fact, there are 17 mergers and acquisitions plus two more pending noted within the ranking. Adjusting for those consolidations put organic growth average sales per company at just 1.2 percent.
It can be a challenge to sort through the ranking for performance information. While this ranking is designed to reflect sales from the manufacture, extrusion and calendering of film and sheet, figures for some companies include sales from conversion of products not actually made in-house. This makes it a mixed bag, but we can still pull out some trends:
High volume packaging is greatly affected by resin pricing, Polypropylene had the largest increase in price per pound at 6.2 percent. Nylon and polycarbonate had the biggest decline at just over 21 percent. Sales were up and down with respect to pricing passed through to customers.
About 20 percent of the listed firms are publicly traded or have public parent companies. These annual reports give us some insight into processors. Over the course of publishing all our 2016 fiscal year rankings to date, resin pricing and foreign exchange rates have had the biggest common impact.
Film sales were $28.4 billion, up 2.4 percent. Sheet sales remained constant at $6.7 million.
Moving into the No. 1 position is Berry Global Inc. as the largest ranked film maker, thanks primarily to its purchase of AEP Industries Inc.
This year we say hello to Transcontinental Inc. whose film packaging business is made up of the acquisitions of Ultra Flex Packaging Corp., Robbie Mfg, , Capri Packaging and most recently Flexstar Packaging Inc.