Executives at Milacron Holdings Corp. are feeling more confident in the third quarter as the plastics machinery maker reported its highest quarterly sales since going public in 2015. Sales reached nearly $315 million, an increase of 6 percent over last year in the same period.
Tom Goeke, CEO of Milacron, said new orders were up 11 percent compared with last year, and year-to-date orders were up nearly 10 percent. He cited continued strength in high-growth regions, such as India and China, and "a solid order book" for injection and extrusion product lines as reasons for the performance boost.
"We are closing out the year with a positive trajectory and all of our businesses are laser-focused on driving improvements to the cash cycle," Goeke told analysts during an Oct. 26 conference call.
In July, Plastics News reported sales were flat for Milacron in the second quarter with a "slumping" global machinery market, but the company saw steadier improvements in the third quarter.
The melt delivery and control systems unit, which includes hot runners, process control systems, and mold bases and components, generated third-quarter sales of $108.1 million, an increase of nearly 12 percent over $95.4 million in the same period of 2016 after excluding favorable effects of currency movements.
"Global sales growth continues to be driven by China and the rest of Asia, with China order momentum continuing throughout the quarter," said Bruce Chalmers, chief financial officer. "From an end market perspective, sales were primarily driven by automotive and consumer goods."
In machinery, sales for the third quarter experienced a slight boost after declining 7 percent in the second quarter. The machinery segment generated sales of $175.9 million compared to $168.7 million in the year-ago third quarter, an increase of 2.7 percent after excluding favorable effects of currency movements.
"Aftermarket continues to have steady growth, and we are encouraged by solid results in our injection and extrusion businesses," Chalmers said.
Geographically, Chalmers said the machinery segment also had "significant growth" for the quarter from China and India. Sales were driven by the electronics and construction markets as well as automotive, he added.
The company also provided a brief overview of its Klear Can product, which "generated significant buzz" when it was announced earlier this month at the Fakuma trade fair in Germany, Goeke said. Klear Can is now on shelves in Shanghai and Seoul, South Korea, holding Del Monte pineapple chunks and slices.
"This is a wonderful opportunity that has not been included in any of our financial projections," Goeke said of the product. "Klear Can's success could play out to be a home run for Milacron."