After posting “record” results for the year ending December 2002, the Irish-owned Clondalkin Group is now assimilating its first US foil and laminate producer. Spiralkote, based in Orlando, FL, was formerly a division of Peoria-based Fleming Packaging Corporation. With a turnover of $18 million, it claims to be the largest North American supplier of flexo printed spiral labels for composite canisters. It also produces diecut lids for the food and beverage markets.
Clondalkin’s 2002 sales were in line with 2001 at €710.5 million ($778.5 million), but operating profit rose 23 percent to the equivalent of $77 million ($62.88 million in 2001 after a $8.32 million loss in 2000). The group has some 40 operating subsidiaries in Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and the USA. Some 55 percent of sales come from central Europe, 24 percent from the UK and Ireland and 21 percent from North America. Flexibles make up 67 percent of production and specialist packaging, including cartons and labels make up the rest.
Colman O’Neill, financial director, says all operations contributed to profitability, but the group’s UK cartons and labels businesses had performed particularly well, especially The Boxes Group and Ditone Labels.
They appear to be bucking the trend, since the UK and Irish packaging industry has suffered of late from over capacity and intense pressure from major customers, especially the cost-cutting supermarkets. Worth noting is that 62 percent of Clondalkin’s shares are owned by Candover, a London-based private equity firm. Print Week, the UK trade journal, reported in late February that Candover was thinking of selling its shares and had appointed Deutsche Bank to act for it. A price equal to $880 million was suggested at the time for the whole group.