Berry Global Group, Inc. recently reported its first fiscal quarter 2021 results, including net sales of $3.1 billion, primarily attributed to organic volume growth of 7%. Additional growth drivers include a $50 million favorable impact from foreign currency changes and a $112 million benefit from extra shipping days in the quarter, partially offset by prior quarter divestiture sales of $15 million. The organic volume growth was reportedly due to growth investments, modest recovery of certain markets that had previously been facing pandemic headwinds, and higher demand in the company's advantaged health and hygiene products as the result of COVID-19.

"Berry’s fiscal 2021 is off to an exceptional start with record first quarter financial results exceeding our expectations," said Tom Salmon, chairman and CEO. "Consumer demand for our products remains consistent and certain markets which previously experienced COVID-19 headwinds are rebounding quicker than we expected. All segments delivered strong volume growth, collectively finishing the quarter with 7 percent organic volume growth, while operating EBITDA increased 20 percent in the quarter. The organically driven outperformance in this first fiscal quarter gives us confidence to raise our fiscal year 2021 outlooks for both operating EBITDA and organic volume growth.

"Our businesses, across the globe, are clearly capitalizing on our strategy to drive profitable and sustainable organic volume growth. The continued positive momentum from our investments in areas such as health and wellness, food safety, and e-commerce along with the focus on growing our emerging market exposure, provide us the path to realize long-term consistent volume growth. Couple these drivers with our numerous efforts to drive more sustainable packaging and you have a lot to be excited about in the upcoming years here at Berry.

"With normalized free cash flow of over $1 billion, we have a clear line-of-site to leverage in the 3.8 to 3.9 times range by the end of fiscal 2021. Once within our targeted leverage range of 3.0 to 3.9 times, our consistent and growing cash flow provides substantial capacity to create shareholder value with a balanced capital allocation approach that includes: reinvesting in the business to support continued organic growth, returning capital to shareholders, pursuing bolt-on acquisitions and further debt reductions while staying within our committed range."

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