Why the Orora (ASX:ORA) share price is soaring 6% today

The Orora (ASX: ORA) share price is up almost 6% in afternoon trading. We take a look at the packaging provider’s latest financial results.

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The Orora Ltd (ASX: ORA) share price is climbing this afternoon, up 5.86% to an intraday high of $2.90 at the time of writing.

This follows the release of the packaging products and solutions provider’s financial results for the half-year ending 31 December (H1FY21).

What financial results did Orora report?

This morning, Orora reported sales revenue of $1.814 billion, down 1.2% on the H1 FY20 sales revenue results. On a constant currency basis, however, Orora’s sales revenue increased 3.1% over the corresponding half year.

The company reported an underlying net profit after tax (NPAT) before significant items of $91.1 million. That’s an increase of 18.9% on the prior corresponding period. Underlying earnings per share (EPS) increased 20.0% over the corresponding half, to 9.6 cents per share (cps).

Underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) came in at $140.0 million, an increase of 5.2%. On a constant currency basis, the company said that underlying EBIT was up 7.5% compared to H1 FY20.

Operating cash flow of $144.8 million was up 13.8%, or $17.6 million from the previous corresponding period. And net debt fell some $15 million from 30 June to approximately $277 million as at 31 December.

What did management say?

Commenting on the results, Orora CEO Brian Lowe said:

In Australasia, Orora’s market leading beverage business continued its track record of earnings growth. The earnings improvement was predominately driven by strong volumes across cans and closures. Volume gains were partially offset by an unfavourable mix in cans and glass driven by an increase in at home consumption and ongoing higher energy and insurance costs.

In North America, constant currency earnings were higher for both Orora Packaging Solutions (OPS) and Orora Visual (OV), following increased sales force effectiveness and a strong focus on cost control measures.

Lowe noted that COVID-19 in its North American markets had impacted revenue more than what was experienced in Australasia.

Looking ahead, he added, “A preliminary assessment of international beverage footprint expansion is underway, and we continue to actively assess and invest in our future requirements to meet customer and consumer needs.”

Orora will pay an interim ordinary dividend of 6.5 cents per share (cps) unfranked, which is unchanged from H1 FY21.

Orora share price snapshot

Over the past 12 months, the Orora share price is down 20%, having yet to fully recover from the hit it took during last year’s viral selloff in February and March. By comparison, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is down 3% in that same time.

With today’s intraday gains taken into account, year-to-date the Orora share price is up 6.4%.

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Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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