SC packaging giant nets $330 million loss in recent quarter, citing inflation and COVID

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Sonoco Products Company, one of the largest publicly traded companies based in South Carolina, released its second quarter earnings report on July 22.

Sonoco, which provides consumer packaging, industrial products and services, and protective packaging internationally, reported a net loss of over $330 million in the quarter ending July 4. In the same quarter last year, the company reported a net gain of $55 million.

“Sonoco’s balanced mix of consumer and industrial packaging businesses achieved second quarter base earning results which were well within our guidance range despite unprecedented raw material and non-material inflation and some continued impact of COVID-19 on certain of our served markets,” said Sonoco President and CEO Howard Coker in a press release announcing the company’s earnings.

While inflation and the coronavirus pandemic both contributed to the loss, so did pension settlement charges and early payments of debts, according to the company’s most recent earnings report.

The company’s net sales for the quarter totaled $1.382 billion, which is up 11% from the $1.245 billion the company reported in the same quarter last year.

The company’s gross profit saw an almost 6% increase over its previous year as well.

“As we enter the second half of 2021, we remain confident that our business will continue to benefit from the post-pandemic economic recovery,” said Coker in a statement. “We believe Sonoco is well positioned given our resiliency over the last year and improving trends in our primary served markets.

Since its founding in 1899, the Hartsville-based company has become a global provider of consumer, industrial, healthcare and protective packaging committed to sustainability with annual net sales of approximately $5.2 billion and over 19,000 employees worldwide, according to the company’s website.

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