Alpharetta, Feb. 23, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Schweitzer-Mauduit International, Inc. ("SWM" or the "Company") (NYSE: SWM) reported earnings results for the three months and year ended December 31, 2021.
Adjusted measures are reconciled to GAAP at the end of this release. Financial and operating comparisons are versus the prior year period. Figures may not sum to total due to rounding. Definitions: Advanced Materials & Structures (AMS), Engineered Papers (EP), low ignition propensity (LIP), "organic" - pro forma for Tekra acquisition that closed in March 2020, and excludes benefit of Scapa acquisition in April 2021
Full Year 2021 Financial Results Summary
2022 Financial Outlook
Fourth Quarter 2021 Financial Results Summary
Dr. Jeff Kramer, Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We enter 2022 confident that we will deliver strong growth in sales and profitability. 2021 top line performance met our growth expectations, but profits were impacted by sharp input cost increases and supply chain challenges, which we expect to moderate as this year progresses. Early signs show more positive fundamentals on several fronts. We have successfully increased prices across the business and see moderation on some key input costs while we continue to progress against other supply chain hurdles. Our Scapa integration is moving well and meeting our strategic expectations. It was an extremely demanding year, and I commend our global teams for their dedication and perseverance as we delivered for our customers on a day-to-day basis while still executing on many longer-term strategic growth initiatives."
"For AMS, we were encouraged by double-digit organic sales growth in 2021, with filtration, transportation, and construction products leading the way. Sales growth could have been even higher if not for pockets of raw material scarcity and labor shortages, which constrained our ability to meet surging demand for our paint protection films and certain filtration products. Scapa joined SWM in April and we have been pleased with overall sales performance and the teamwork demonstrated as we explored a compelling set of commercial synergy opportunities. We have identified several actionable projects to take advantage of our combined manufacturing capabilities, which we believe will further enhance the strategic value creation of this combination. EP performed as we had anticipated in 2021, notwithstanding the unexpected steep rise in wood pulp costs and other inflationary factors. We improved our cost structure, pioneered hemp fiber engineering innovations and launched new products, and advanced the groundwork for a variety of sustainable fiber-based packaging solutions. These investments in innovation outside of our traditional product line have the potential to meaningfully expand the portfolio and improve the multi-year profit outlook for EP."
Dr. Kramer concluded, "In 2022, we expect continued consolidated top-line growth, improved cost/price dynamics, and a gradual easing of supply chain constraints to drive 20% to 30% adjusted EBITDA growth. This improved profitability is embedded in our 2022 Adjusted EPS guidance of $3.50 to $3.95, implying up to 27% growth over 2021, with substantial year-over-year profit increases in the second half of the year. We also expect free cash flow to return towards historical levels, likely in the $100 million range, which supports our dividend and planned debt reduction. Though our 2021 results were clouded by many factors, we are more optimistic than ever before about our longer-term outlook and strength of our diversified portfolio. With the addition of Scapa's $400-plus million of annualized sales, SWM is now heavily weighted towards growing industries with very favorable long term fundamental trends, and we possess an expanded suite of technologies and innovative solutions to offer our customers. We believe we are well positioned for top line growth, expanding margins and strong financial performance in 2022 and beyond."
Fourth Quarter 2021 Financial Results
Advanced Materials & Structures segment sales were $255.6 million, up 72%, including the benefit from the Scapa acquisition, while organic sales increased 2%. Organic sales were driven by 20% growth in filtration, led by water and other process filtration products. Industrial sales increased double digits with the largest gains in digital printing products. Transportation sales declined as the year-ago quarter had elevated sales when customers began re-ordering paint protection films to fill their pipeline after significant mid-2020 order flow disruptions related to COVID-19. Since the pandemic began, transportation sales have fluctuated the most (both positively and negatively) within the AMS portfolio; excluding transportation sales, AMS organic growth would have been approximately 8% during the quarter. Healthcare sales (excluding Scapa) declined as certain products that saw short-term COVID-19 related demand spikes in 2020, such as facemask materials, faced difficult comparisons.
GAAP operating profit was $5.5 million, or 2.2% of sales, down 72%, and included $4.7 million of incremental purchase accounting expenses related to the Scapa acquisition. Adjusted operating profit was $18.6 million, down 29%, with margin of 7.3%, down from 17.5%. Both GAAP and adjusted operating profit results reflected organic sales growth and the incremental benefit of the acquired Scapa business; however consistent with the third quarter, these factors were offset by higher raw material costs, other inflationary pressures, and supply chain challenges. Costs for polypropylene resin, a key input, reached peak 2021 levels during the third quarter, which impacted fourth quarter profits given the timing lag of materials purchasing, production, and sales. The Company also continued to experience inflationary pressures from energy, freight, and labor challenges which have constrained sales in some product areas. The margin percentage decline was primarily attributable to these cost increases and other supply chain challenges, including limited supplies of specialty resins used in the transportation films business. The Company expects selling price increase actions and lower polypropylene costs to result in improved price versus cost variances in 2022. Of note, $2.2 million of operating costs related to shared services in Scapa have been classified into the Company's Unallocated expenses.
Engineered Papers segment sales were $134.8 million, up 3%, driven by a 5% volume increase, unfavorable price/mix of 1% and 1% of negative currency related to the Euro. Volumes benefited from gains in tobacco papers, continued rapid growth in Heat-not-Burn products, and an increase in non-tobacco papers.
GAAP operating profit was $22.4 million, or 16.6% of sales, down 5%. Adjusted operating profit was $24.9 million, down 16%, with adjusted operating margin contracting 410 basis points to 18.5%. Margin reduction resulted primarily from significant wood pulp cost increases and other inflationary and supply chain pressures, such as energy costs and freight. A significant portion of segment sales are derived from contracts with annual price adjusters, several of which recently reset, which should result in improved price versus cost variances in 2022. The 2021 wood pulp cost increases offset other manufacturing efficiencies and cost reduction projects. Currency movements resulted in a $1.6 million benefit to operating profit.
Unallocated GAAP expenses were $17.0 million, versus $19.7 million in 4Q:20, and included $2.4 million of integration and acquisition expenses related to Scapa. Adjusted unallocated expenses (which exclude the Scapa acquisition related costs) were $14.6 million, versus $19.7 million. The decrease was primarily a function of lower incentive compensation as the Company did not meet its 2021 financial targets, and lower corporate development and acquisition-related consulting fees for Scapa which were incurred in 4Q:20. As noted above, unallocated expenses included $2.2 million of costs incurred within Scapa as shared services for corporate functions such as legal, finance, HR, and IT, however these costs are reported in the Company's segment financials as unallocated. Adjusted unallocated costs were 3.7% of consolidated sales, down from 7.1% in the prior year quarter.
Consolidated sales were $390.4 million, up 40%, and up 3% on an organic basis. Currency had an immaterial impact on consolidated sales during the quarter. GAAP operating profit was $10.9 million, down 53%, or $12.4 million, and GAAP operating profit margin was 2.8%. These figures were impacted by $4.7 million of higher purchase accounting expenses related to the Scapa acquisition. Adjusted operating profit was $28.9 million, down 19%, and adjusted operating profit margin was 7.4%, down 540 basis points.
GAAP income was $53.3 million, up $38.0 million; GAAP EPS was $1.68. GAAP EPS reflected an $0.87 per share gain from the previously disclosed sale of the Spotswood, New Jersey site and $0.92 per share of favorable one-time tax items.
Adjusted income was $12.7 million, down 49%; Adjusted EPS was $0.36. Adjusted EBITDA was $43.8 million, down 7%, and adjusted EBITDA margin was 11.2%, down 560 basis points.
Interest expense was $14.8 million, up from $7.7 million due to higher average debt balances as a result of the Scapa acquisition which closed in April 2021. Other income was $35.1 million, and included a $35.2 million gain from the sale of the Spotswood, New Jersey facility, versus other expense of $0.3 million in the prior year quarter.
The Company reported a negative tax rate of 69.9%, versus 19.0% in the prior year period, which included one-time net benefits of $29.0 million, or $0.92 per share, related to favorable tax valuation items. These positive valuation changes are the result of a more favorable long-term profit outlook that resulted in increases to net tax assets on the balance sheet. Excluding the impact of non-GAAP adjustments, the fourth quarter 2021 tax rate was 11.0% (the implied rate reflected in the Company's Adjusted EPS), versus 21.7% in the prior year quarter. The low fourth quarter rate was recorded to reflect the company's full year tax rate.
The Company's Chinese JVs contributed $0.01 to both GAAP and Adjusted EPS, versus $0.09 in the prior year quarter, due to timing of sales (full year 2021 EPS contribution increased as noted below).
Net currency movements had a $1.7 million favorable impact on operating profits and the translation impact of net currency movements was negative $0.01 to both GAAP EPS and Adjusted EPS.
Non-GAAP Adjustments reflect items included in GAAP operating profit, income, and EPS, but excluded from adjusted operating profit, income, and EPS (see non-GAAP reconciliation tables for additional details). The most significant adjustments to fourth quarter 2021 results were the one-time gain of $0.87 per share on the Spotswood facility sale, the one-time gain of $0.92 per share related to the tax valuations, and purchase accounting expenses of $0.28 per share, up $0.12 per share due to the Scapa acquisition (purchase accounting expenses reflect the ongoing non-cash intangible asset amortization, as well as non-cash one-time inventory step-up charges, associated with AMS acquisitions).
2021 Year-to-Date Financial Results
Advanced Materials & Structures segment sales were $930.7 million, up 71%, including the benefit from the Scapa acquisition, while organic sales increased 11% (pro forma to assume the Tekra acquisition was owned for the full prior year period). Year-to-date organic sales growth was driven by 20%-plus gains in filtration and transportation sales. Filtration sales increased across all key product lines, and were led by water and process filtration products. Demand for transportation sales rebounded sharply following COVID-19 related disruptions in 2020, particularly for paint protection films. Construction sales also increased double digits with broad strength across the portfolio, while healthcare products declined due mostly to lower sales of facemask materials compared to COVID-19 related 2020 demand surges.
GAAP operating profit was $61.6 million, or 6.6% of sales, down 5%, and included $17.5 million of incremental purchase accounting expenses related to the Scapa acquisition. Adjusted operating profit was $106.8 million, up 17%, while margin contracted 530 basis points to 11.5%. Both GAAP and adjusted operating profit results reflected the 11% organic sales growth and the incremental benefit of the acquired Scapa business; however, these positive factors were offset by higher raw material costs, particularly for polypropylene resin, other inflationary pressures such as energy, freight and labor, and supply chain challenges. As noted above, the Company expects selling price increase actions taken and lower polypropylene costs to result in improved price versus cost variances in 2022. Of note, $6.0 million of operating costs related to shared services in Scapa have been classified into the Company's Unallocated expenses.
Engineered Papers segment sales were $509.3 million down 4%, driven by a 2% volume decline and unfavorable price/mix of 4%, which were partially offset by a 3% currency benefit related to the Euro. The volume decline was primarily attributable to lower tobacco papers, particularly LIP, as customers adjusted inventories lower after building significant safety stocks in mid-2020. The lower LIP volume was also a significant contributor to the negative mix effect. Rapid growth throughout the year in reduced risk Heat-not-Burn sales was a positive offset within the tobacco business, while non-tobacco paper volumes also increased.
GAAP operating profit was $100.5 million, down 14%. Adjusted operating profit was $109.4 million, down 18%, with adjusted operating margin declining 360 basis point to 21.5%. Margin reduction reflected the LIP volume decline and associated negative mix impact noted above, as well as significantly higher wood pulp costs and increases in energy and freight. Wood pulp price adjusters in several large customer contracts have recently reset and are expected to result in improved price versus cost variances in 2022. Year-to-date profits were also impacted by inefficiencies in the first half of 2021 related to the Spotswood, NJ closure and transition of production to other facilities. Currency movements resulted in a $5.7 million benefit to operating profits.
Unallocated GAAP expenses were $78.8 million, up $26.0 million versus $52.8 million in the prior year period. $21.4 million of the 2021 expenses related to the Scapa acquisition, including associated third-party advisory and diligence costs, transaction fees, and integration expenses incurred mostly during the first half of the year. Adjusted unallocated expenses, which excluded the Scapa acquisition related costs, were $57.4 million versus $52.7 million, up $4.7 million. The increase was more than accounted for by the $6.0 million of costs incurred within Scapa as shared services for corporate functions such as legal, finance, HR, and IT, that are reported in the Company's segment financials as unallocated expenses. Adjusted unallocated expenses were 4.0% of total sales, down 90 basis points.
Consolidated sales were $1,440.0 million, up 34%, and excluding the Scapa acquisition were up 4% on an organic basis (pro forma to assume the Tekra acquisition was owned for the full prior year period). Favorable currency movements benefited sales, excluding Scapa, by 2%. GAAP operating profit was $83.3 million, down 35%, or $45.5 million, and GAAP operating profit margin was 5.8%. These figures were significantly impacted by the Scapa acquisition and integration related costs of $21.4 million and $17.5 million of higher purchase accounting expenses related to the Scapa acquisition. Adjusted operating profit was $158.8 million, down 7%, and adjusted operating profit margin was 11.0%, down 500 points.
GAAP income was $88.9 million, up 6%; GAAP EPS was $2.80. GAAP EPS reflected a $0.87 per share gain from the sale of the Spotswood, New Jersey site and $0.92 per share of favorable one-time tax items. GAAP EPS also reflects $0.75 per share of acquisition and integration related costs, and foreign currency exchange impacts from Scapa acquisition, as well as $1.09 per share of purchase accounting adjustments.
Adjusted income was $99.3 million, down 14%; Adjusted EPS was $3.10. Adjusted EBITDA was $209.1 million, down 2%, and adjusted EBITDA margin was 14.5%, down 530 basis points.
Interest expense was $46.1 million, up from $30.5 million, due to incremental debt related to the Scapa acquisition. This increase included a $4.5 million favorable adjustment to interest expenses related to the settlement of Brazil tax assessments. Other income was $35.9 million, due to the Spotswood sale gain, versus other expense of $1.0 million in the prior year period.
The Company reported a negative tax rate of 12.9%, versus 18.9% in the prior year period due to the favorable tax valuation items referenced above. Excluding the impact of non-GAAP adjustments, the year-to-date tax rate was 18.6% (the implied rate reflected in the Company's Adjusted EPS), versus 21.0% in the prior year period. The tax rate benefited from favorable one-time items, partially offset by an unfavorable mix of earnings.
The Company's Chinese JVs contributed $0.20 to both GAAP and Adjusted EPS, versus $0.16 per share in the prior year period.
Net currency movements were a $6.9 million benefit to operating profits and the translation impact of net currency movements was positive $0.06 to both GAAP EPS and Adjusted EPS.
Non-GAAP Adjustments reflect items included in GAAP operating profit, income, and EPS, but excluded from adjusted operating profit, income, and EPS (see non-GAAP reconciliation tables for additional details). The most significant adjustments to full year 2021 results were related to the Scapa acquisition, purchase accounting expenses, the tax valuation items, and the gain from the Spotswood site sale. The Company incurred $0.75 per share of costs associated with third party advisory, transactions fees, and integration costs which affected GAAP operating profits, and an unfavorable mark-to-market impact of British pound forward contracts which affected other expense, related to the Scapa acquisition. Purchase accounting expenses increased $0.46 per share to $1.09 per share, mostly due to the Scapa acquisition (purchase accounting expenses reflect the ongoing non-cash intangible asset amortization, as well as non-cash one-time inventory step-up charges, associated with AMS acquisitions). The Company recorded a one-time gain of $0.87 per share on the sale of the Spotswood site and a one-time gain of $0.92 per share related to the tax valuations.
Cash Flow, Debt, & Dividend
2021 cash provided by operating activities was $58.1 million, down from $161.6 million. The Company's working capital-related cash outflows were $61.4 million, compared to $5.7 million in the prior year period. The higher working capital outflows are associated with the 2021 sales increase in AMS, and the related growth in receivables and inventories (higher cost inventories due to rising input costs). In addition, approximately $19.0 million of cash costs were incurred during the year in connection with the closing and integration of the Scapa acquisition.
Capital spending and capitalized software totaled $38.9 million, up $5.6 million, as 2020 capital spending was lower than originally expected in response to COVID-19 related uncertainties. Year-to-date free cash flow was $19.2 million down from $128.3 million due to the operating cash flow trends discussed above.
Total debt was $1,270.3 million as of December 31, 2021, up $677.0 million from year end 2020, and total cash was $74.7 million; net debt was $1,195.6 million on December 31, 2021, up $657.0 million from year-end 2020. The Company's total debt is comprised primarily of $393 million of borrowings under the revolving credit facility, which is due in 2023 and represents the Company's nearest material debt maturity, $194 million of an outstanding term loan due in 2025, $350 million of senior notes due in 2026, and $348 million of an outstanding term loan due in 2028 (these amounts may not sum to total debt due mainly to unamortized discount and issuance costs). The Company's liquidity position is $177 million, consisting of approximately $75 million of cash and $102 million of net revolver availability. Management believes this liquidity and free cash flow are sufficient to fund the Company's operating needs and financial obligations, including dividend payments.
Pursuant to the terms of the Company's credit agreement, net debt to adjusted EBITDA was 4.8x as of December 31, 2021, up from 2.3x from year end 2020. The increase in debt and leverage levels is primarily related to the acquisition of Scapa.
The Company announced a quarterly cash dividend of $0.44 per share. The dividend will be payable on March 25, 2022 to stockholders of record as of March 11, 2022. During 2021, the Company paid dividends to stockholders totaling $55.3 million.
2022 Financial Outlook
The Company issued 2022 Adjusted EPS guidance of $3.50 to $3.95, driven by 20% to 30% adjusted EBITDA growth. This equates to $2.32 to $2.77 of GAAP EPS based on estimates of $1.18 per share of non-cash purchase accounting expenses (see non-GAAP reconciliation table). Management anticipates that adjusted EBITDA growth may exceed Adjusted EPS growth based on the likelihood of a higher tax rate in 2022.
The Company expects 2022 capital expenditures and capitalized software spending of approximately $45 million to $55 million.
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)
On January 12, 2022, the Company released its 2021 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) report as part of its ongoing efforts to increase transparency around its ESG strategy and initiatives. The report shares stories of how SWM is working toward more sustainable solutions, including those that impact the environments where the Company operates, where its products are used, and the planet in general. Among the highlights in the report are the following areas important to the Company’s strategy:
SWM will hold a conference call to review fourth quarter 2021 and full year results with investors and analysts at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time on Thursday, February 24, 2022. The earnings conference call will be simultaneously broadcast over the Internet at www.swmintl.com. To listen to the call, please go to the Company’s website at least 15 minutes prior to the call to register and to download and install any necessary audio software. For those unable to listen to the live broadcast, a replay will be available on the Company’s website shortly after the call.
SWM will use a presentation in conjunction with its conference call. The presentation can be found on the Company's website under the Investor Relations section in advance of the earnings conference call. The presentation can also be accessed via the earnings conference call webcast.
Schweitzer-Mauduit International, Inc., operating as SWM International, is a leading global performance materials company, focused on finding ways to improve everyday life by bringing best-in-class innovation, design, and manufacturing solutions to our customers. Our highly engineered films, adhesive tapes, foams, nets, nonwovens, and papers are designed and manufactured using resins, polymers, and natural fibers for a variety of industries and specialty applications. SWM and its subsidiaries manufacture on four continents, conduct business in over 90 countries and employ approximately 5,000 people worldwide. For further information, please visit SWM’s website at www.swmintl.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are subject to the safe harbor created by that Act and other legal protections. Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, those regarding EPS and other financial guidance, acquisition integration and performance, growth prospects, future end-market trends, the future effects of supply chain challenges and price increases, future cash flows, net leverage, purchase accounting impacts, effective tax rates, planned investments, impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our operations, profitability, and cash flow, and other statements generally identified by words such as "believe," "expect," "intend," "guidance," "plan," "forecast," "potential," "anticipate," "confident," "project," "appear," "future," "should," "likely," "could," "may,", "will", "typically," and similar words.
These forward-looking statements are prospective in nature and not based on historical facts, but rather on current expectations and on numerous assumptions regarding the business strategies and the environment in which our business shall operate in the future and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by those statements. No assurance can be given that such expectations will prove to have been correct and persons reading this presentation are therefore cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements which speak only as at the date of this press release. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, and assumptions that may cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations as of the date of this release. These risks include, among other things, the following factors:
All forward-looking statements made in this document are qualified by these cautionary statements. Forward-looking statements herein are made only as of the date of this document, and we do not undertake any obligation, other than as may be required by law, to update or revise any forward-looking or cautionary statements to reflect changes in assumptions, the occurrence of events, unanticipated or otherwise, or changes in future operating results over time or otherwise.
Comparisons of results for current and any prior periods are not intended to express any future trends or indications of future performance unless expressed as such and should only be viewed as historical data. The financial results reported in this release are unaudited.
For additional factors and further discussion of these factors, please see SWM's most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K and other reports we file with the SEC from time to time, which can be found at the SEC’s website www.sec.gov. The discussion of these risks is specifically incorporated by reference into this release. The financial results reported in this release are unaudited.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
Certain financial measures and comments contained in this press release exclude restructuring and impairment expenses, plant closure expenses, certain purchase accounting adjustments related to AMS segment acquisitions, acquisition and integration related costs, interest expense, the effect of income tax provisions and other tax impacts, capital spending, capitalized software costs, and depreciation and amortization. This press release also provides certain information regarding the Company's financial results excluding currency impacts. This information estimates the impact of changes in foreign currency rates on the translation of the Company's current financial results as compared to the applicable comparable period and is derived by translating the current local currency results into U.S. Dollars based upon the foreign currency exchange rates for the applicable comparable period. Financial measures which exclude or include these items have not been determined in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (GAAP) and are therefore "non-GAAP" financial measures. Reconciliations of these non-GAAP financial measures to the most closely analogous measure determined in accordance with GAAP are included in the financial schedules attached to this release.
The Company believes that the presentation of non-GAAP financial measures in addition to the related GAAP measures provides investors with greater transparency on the information used by the Company’s management in its financial and operational decision-making. Management also believes that the non-GAAP financial measures provide additional insight for analysts and investors in evaluating the Company’s financial and operational performance in the same way that management evaluates the Company's financial performance. Management believes that providing this information enables investors to better understand the Company’s operating performance and financial condition. These non-GAAP financial measures are not calculated or presented in accordance with, and are not intended to be considered in isolation or as alternatives or substitutes for, or superior to, financial measures prepared and presented in accordance with GAAP, and should be read only in conjunction with the Company's financial measures prepared and presented in accordance with GAAP. The non-GAAP financial measures used in this release may be different from the measures used by other companies.
Chief Financial Officer
Director of Investor Relations