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Ball Corp  (NYSE:BLL)
Q1 2019 Earnings Call
May. 02, 2019, 11:00 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Greetings. Welcome to the Ball Corporation First Quarter Earnings Conference Call. During the presentation participants are in a listen only mode and afterwards we will conduct a question and answer session. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this conference is recorded on Thursday May 2, 2019.

It's my pleasure to turn the conference over to John Hayes, CEO. Please go ahead sir.

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you Pema and good morning, everyone. This is Ball Corporation's conference call regarding the company's first quarter 2019 results. The information provided during this call will contain forward-looking statements. Actual results or outcomes may differ materially from those that may be expressed or implied. Some factors that could cause the results or outcomes to differ are in the company's latest 10-K and in other company SEC filings, as well as company news releases. If you don't already have our first quarter earnings release, it's available on our website at ball.com.

Information regarding the use of non-GAAP financial measures may also be found in the Notes section of today's earnings release. The release also includes a table summarizing business consolidation and other activities as well as a reconciliation of comparable operating earnings and diluted earnings per share calculations. Now joining me on the call today are Scott Morrison, Senior Vice President and CFO; and Dan Fisher, Senior Vice President and COO of Global Beverage. I'll provide some introductory remarks. Dan will discuss the Global Beverage packaging performance. Scott will discuss key financial metrics and then we'll finish up with comments on our aerosol and aerospace businesses, as well as our outlook for the Company.

Overall, we were pleased but not satisfied with our quarterly results with overall global beverage can demand up over 8%, which is the highest it's been in a very long time and our aerospace business continues to deliver on its growth ambitions. Offsetting this growth for the previously mentioned conclusion of the end sales agreement as part of the Rexam acquisition in South America and some short-term incremental costs that weighed on results in North America. Dan will address these transitory costs related to efficiency headwinds for two of our new lines and our Goodyear, Arizona facility and the impact of aluminum scrap costs in his comments later. We expect volume growth to continue while our cost become more in line as we move through the year.

Now key highlights for the quarter include, as mentioned previously, overall global beverage can growth of approximately 8% with specialty can growth of approximately 20% and standard cans flat, further highlighting that our focus on specialty cans is paying off. In fact, specialty cans now represent over 43% of our mix on a global basis, which is up from 30% in 2016. The growth was across the board of North and Central America up approximately 6% year-over-year. South America up a bit more than that, and Europe and the EMEA up in the low to upper teens, respectively.

Our customer discussions about shifting products into cans from glass, plastic, and multi-layer paper-based containers have only accelerated. And Dan will go into more detail about what we see going forward. In addition, we received antitrust approval of the sale of our China beverage can business and we're on track for second half 2019 closing. Aerospace revenues were up over 20% and while we don't expect this level of growth to continue, we do expect revenues to be up over 15% for the full year.

Finally, aluminum aerosol was up low to mid single digits as the sustainability discussions migrate to this segment as well. Now speaking of sustainability, Ball is focused on a variety of efforts over the past number of months to raise awareness on sustainability, educate consumers on the benefits of aluminum packaging, aides customer shift to cans, and proactively improve our own environmental footprint. Key initiatives that we have focused on year-to-date include engaging with customers, governments, NGOs, and others on the sustainability advantages of aluminum packaging, including presenting at the World Oceans Summit in Abu Dhabi. Supporting employee led recycling and community clean-up events around the world and launched new events in Argentina and the Persian Gulf, just to name a few.

Launching a campaign to educate youth about recycling, if you can choose a can. Facilitating various sports and cultural venues to ship to aluminum packaging, including utilizing Balls reclosable aluminium bottle for Stillwater. Developing new infinitely recyclable brandable aluminum cups for use in stadiums, venues, colleges, and other channels where plastic cups are used. And to make Ball and our products even more sustainable announcing agreements to transition 100% of our North American energy usage to renewable sources by the end of 2021, making Ball one of the largest corporate buyers of renewable energy in the U.S.

As we go forward, we see the momentum growing in each of our businesses throughout this year. We'll continue to execute our long-term strategy of growing EVA dollars in earnings over time through increasing revenues above our cost growth by focusing on our value over volume strategy, driving more mix shift to specialty containers, further developing innovative aluminum packaging products, and expanding aerospace, all with return of value to our shareholders mindset.

And with that, I'll turn it over to Dan.

Daniel W. Fisher -- Senior Vice President, Ball Corporation; Chief Operating Officer, Global Beverage Packaging

Thanks John. And as John has already highlighted, we had some pluses and minuses to start the year. On the plus side and without a doubt, sustainability is having a favorable impact on customer demand, and given customer conversations, it will in the future as well. On the minus side, certain inflationary costs to respond to the surging volume growth cannot be fully offset in the U.S. given the aluminum scrap market spreads and a couple of new lines not quite hitting their targets.

Turning to growth. Our first quarter Global beverage can volumes were up 8% though comparable operating earnings were down 6.5% year-over-year due to the $33 million impact of the previously disclosed completion of the South America INS manufacturing agreement, which will anniversary in mid 2019 and the late year 2018 U.S. line and efficiency is continuing in the first quarter. We can and will do better going forward.

Across the globe, our teams kept pace with tremendous growth in Europe, Brazil, and North America, which in some regions created some operational logistical inefficiencies given a tight U.S. industry and higher than anticipated growth in Brazil. The impact of widening aluminum scrap spreads in the U.S. has highlighted an area of exposure in certain customer contracts, which will be or has already been addressed for agreements renewing in 2020.

Moving to the individual segments. Ball's North America segment volumes were up 6% in the quarter. New categories led the way with wine, spiked seltzer, energy, crafts, and water experiencing double-digit growth, and lower calorie light beer being stronger than year-over-year.

Given the strong growth, we experienced higher than anticipated line conversions in our new Goodyear, Arizona facility which in a start-up environment created higher costs than anticipated. This combined with the aluminum scrap issues described earlier dampened our results and while headwinds related to scrap will continue until we can fully pass these on, we expect our operating performance to improve as the year goes on.

Turning to our South American segment. Volumes were up 11% in the first quarter, led by incredible strength in Brazil. As mentioned earlier, the completion of the INS manufacturing contracts required as part of the Rexam transaction led to lower first quarter earnings and higher than anticipated Brazilian volume growth led to pockets of sub-optimal logistics patterns to honor customer demand. Comps will improve as we move forward with second quarter segment earnings down just slightly to reflect the midyear anniversary of the INS agreement completion. Our expansion in Paraguay is on track for late 2019 start-up and the 2018 expansions of Argentina and Chile are contributing to results. Overall, the South American industry trends remain strong with cans being the favorite package in the beer, tea, energy, and hard alcohol categories.

Looking forward we see additional customer conversions from returnable glass to cans aiding growth in 2020 and beyond. European beverage earnings were up nearly 7% in the first quarter on difficult year-over-year comps given the timing and location of the 2018 World Cup. A $5 million unfavorable operating earnings translation impact and start-up costs associated with two new lines and multiple specialty line conversions in the quarter.

Volumes increased 10% in the first quarter, continuing the momentum from 2018. Cans are winning as customers shift their package mix into cans as result of new can filling lines being installed across our customer's operations. We look forward to continued good market growth. For 2019, contributions from our new lines, the year-over-year impact of our 2018 G&A improvement and plant cost initiatives will provide further year-over-year earnings growth and margin expansion as we progress through 2019.

Turning to EMEA and Asia. The demand environments in Turkey and India improved and operating performance in our Saudi joint venture stabilized. And in China, Ball has secured antitrust approval for the Chinese manufacturing plants sale to ORG. In summary, global beverage can demand remains robust in our three key regions of North and Central America, Brazil, and Europe supply demand globally for cans is tight and commercial and sustainability initiatives will benefit Ball going forward.

Thank you again to all of our teams around the globe. With that I'll turn it over to Scott.

Scott C. Morrison -- Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Dan. Comparable first quarter 2019 diluted earnings per share were $0.49 versus $0.50 in the first quarter of 2018. First quarter 2019 results reflect $0.03 dilutive impact of the July 2018 sale of our U.S. steel food and steel aerosol business. Details are provided in the Notes section of today's earnings release, an additional information will also be provided in our 10-Q. First quarter comparable diluted earnings per share reflect strong global can volumes and solid aerospace contract growth. A lower effective tax rate than expected offset by the sale of the U.S. steel food and aerosol business and lower year-over-year end sales performance in South America and U.S. cost inflation, as Dan just outlined.

Net debt ended the quarter at $6.5 billion and reflects our typical seasonal working capital bill and ongoing share buyback. We continue to anticipate year end 2019 net debt to remain around $6 billion as we continue to actively buyback stock and pay dividends throughout 2019. Close to 90% of Ball's balance sheet debt is at fixed rates, and we've reached our post-Rexam target levels. We have an additional $850 million of stock to buyback by the end of 2019 and in 2019 we'll pay roughly $185 million in annual dividends, which reflects last week's dividend increase.

Looking forward, the company remains committed to repurchasing the shares issued to execute the Brazilian JV and Rexam acquisitions, and we'll closely monitor growth trends and growth CapEx returns to determine how much additional growth CapEx will be spent beyond 2019.

Ball's balance sheet is healthy and our recent amend and extend of our credit agreement provides ample opportunity and flexibility to service growth and shareholder value return needs. As we think about 2019, we continue to strive for full year comparable EBITDA of $2 billion. Free cash flow in excess of a billion, after CapEx in the range of $600 million. Full year interest expense, a little north of $300 million. The full year effective tax rate on comparable earnings will be in the range of 22% and corporate undistributed should be just under $100 million, which is roughly flat to 2018.

By investing in our businesses, pursuing both on M&A, repurchasing stock, and paying quarterly dividends, we continue to put the cash machine to work for the long term benefit of our fellow shareholders. With that, I'll turn it back to you, John.

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Great. Thanks Scott. In our aluminum aerosol business now reflected in other non-reportable results. And as I mentioned earlier, global volumes grew 4% in the quarter. We continue to see opportunities to broaden our global footprint. Sustainability is also a driver in this business as some consumer product companies pursue aluminum alternatives to plastic. We're proud of the progress our team is making on innovation, operational improvements, and employee engagement to further improve this high returning business.

Our aerospace business, as I mentioned earlier, reported 24% revenue growth and 20% operating earnings growth on solid contract performance, partially offset by incremental labor costs in the start-up of many of these new contracts. In addition, we welcome 300 new aerospace employees in the quarter and we anticipate adding another 600 employees over the next 12 months. Our total aerospace headcount recently surpassed 4,000 people. Our focus remains on onboarding these new employees, readying the facilities for further expansion, and most importantly, executing on our strong backlog.

Now as we look forward for the Company, we are one quarter of the way through the year, and while we still have much to do to achieve our 2019 financial goals, originally laid out mid-2016, our longer term prospects continue to be bright. Ball is uniquely positioned to lead sustainable growth in global aluminum packaging and aerospace, while also continuing to return significant capital to shareholders following the Board's announcement to raise the quarterly cash dividend by 50% last week, as well as our recent $50 million share repurchase authorization. We still expect to acquire $1 billion of stock in 2019 and we look forward to exceeding our long-term 10% to 15% diluted earnings-per-share growth goal. All of this is possible because of our people and our culture. We'll continue to do what's best for Ball and our shareholders' long-term success.

And with that, Pema, we're ready for questions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Absolutely, sir. Thank you. (Operator Instructions) Our first question comes from the line of Anthony Pettinari with Citi. Please proceed.

Anthony Pettinari -- Citigroup -- Analyst

Good morning.

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Good morning.

Anthony Pettinari -- Citigroup -- Analyst

John, you had a couple of quarters where it seems like you've had some growing pains in terms of meeting a stepped up pace of demand. And I'm wondering, just from a big picture perspective, if we're moving to a world where bevcan Balls, or maybe closer to mid single-digit growth and low single-digit. How confident are you that -- not only Ball, but really the entire supply chain, whether it's the aluminum producers, or your freight providers are going to be able to kind of meet that higher level of demand?

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, it's a good question. Two things, first as it relates to Ball, recall the acceleration of this growth has happened really right as we were in the midst of optimizing our footprint. So we had a number of plants that we were taking down over the last year or so in a number of lines, in fact 11 lines I believe across the world, over the last 18 months or so. And so anytime you have this growth much higher than you're anticipating when you're going to change it adds risk to it. That's a little bit what's happened. We're largely out of it. As we look forward, we probably will have a little bit more in the second quarter. But as we move to second half of this year, we really expect to see all the benefits that we said. On a broader basis from a supply chain perspective you raise an excellent point because I'm confident in our ability to make the cans but what we are increasingly focused on is on the filling side of our business making sure there's enough filling capacity to fill the cans. And more importantly, on the metal side making sure there's sufficient metal globally but even regionally particularly here in North America, the tariffs that were implemented about nine months ago haven't helped the situation and we've gone from a situation where we had four or five metal suppliers that we relied on increasingly, we've doubled or tripled that if not quadrupled that given the shortage of rolled aluminum here in North America. So that's added complexity into the whole system. And we've been working very diligently with all of our key suppliers to make sure that they have sufficient capacity of relies that the growth is endurable and sustainable and it's here right now.

Anthony Pettinari -- Citigroup -- Analyst

Okay. That's very helpful. And then is it possible to size the earnings drag from the scrap spread issue that we could see in 2Q or maybe the remainder of 2019. And then I think Dan indicated the issue will be addressed or has been addressed in customer contracts. Is it possible to say how far along you are in that? And you have some contracts that are three to five years, is it something that's going to take multiple years, or just any thoughts on that one?

Scott C. Morrison -- Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

Anthony, this is Scott, on the drag of the first quarter the scrap issue is probably about $10 million in the U.S. and it's really only a U.S. issue. That will continue in the second quarter, but it gets better in the second half as some of our supply gets switched to different suppliers and becomes a little more competitive and valid. Dan, talk about the customer side.

Daniel W. Fisher -- Senior Vice President, Ball Corporation; Chief Operating Officer, Global Beverage Packaging

Yes, Anthony I'd say on the customer side I'd say about 25% to a third of our North America business has this exposure in 2019. Two-thirds of that has already been contracted. The other are basically annual contracts that get renewed at the beginning of 2020, so it's within our control to reup those contracts with a very different pass-through mechanism.

Anthony Pettinari -- Citigroup -- Analyst

Okay. That's very helpful. I'll turn it over.

Operator

Thank you sir. Continuing on our next question comes from the line of Edlain Rodriguez with UBS. Please proceed.

Edlain Rodriguez -- UBS Equity Research -- Analyst

Okay. Thank you. Good morning guys. A quick one on sustainability. As you look ahead over the next couple of years and if we believe you -- as the can gains market share, like, how do you take advantage of that given that you practically sold out? Are you contemplating capacity expansion project all the regions? Like, how do you take advantage of the higher growth?

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, well, we actually have seen this coming for the last 18 months. We've been talking about it for a couple of years. We truly believe the acceleration of it is actually gone faster than we had thought. But recall, as I mentioned a couple of minutes ago, we've invested meaningfully in our business to prepare for it. And so as we sit here in the short term, we're very confident that we have the capacity. What we're more focused on is actually the whole supply chain, as I said earlier, the filling side as well as the metal side. I think longer term meaning beyond 2020 going into 2021 to 2023, we see a variety of opportunities but we're only going to be investing that capital if we can get the appropriate returns. So maybe I'll let Dan talk a little bit about the granularity there.

Daniel W. Fisher -- Senior Vice President, Ball Corporation; Chief Operating Officer, Global Beverage Packaging

Yeah and I think just to piggyback on that maybe it's a more nuanced view. John has talked multiple times even at the Investor Day about needing to move our customers' NPEC that need to move, they also need to make sure they get profit pools reestablished. And so when you look at our specialty growth, just in the first quarter year-over-year, that's where a lot of that movement is happening and we're up 20% in the globe on our specialty volume growth. Remember, over the last two years in the footprint reestablishment, we have taken out 12-ounce capacity and we've added back in specialty in anticipation of selling this through to our customers and it's starting to come to fruition. Now it's happening candidly at a faster rate than we anticipated. And to John's point, we're constantly looking at our footprint for investment opportunities with customers and the returns have to be there in order for us to step into those.

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Just give you one last context as part of our planning process, Dan and his team has really looked out not only two to three years but looked out 10 years. And really looked, went into every one of our facilities and said, where are those areas, low hanging fruit, if you like to call, we can speed up lines, what are those facilities that we can add lines and to the existing bricks and mortar and then what are those areas that we need to look outside. So we have a very good idea of short term and long term, incremental capital and big capital where we could invest if we get the appropriate returns.

Edlain Rodriguez -- UBS Equity Research -- Analyst

Okay. And one quick one on Brazil. Are you gaining market share at the expense of glass? Because it seems like there is some dispute between what you saying and what the biggest glass competitor is saying over there?

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. What -- the answer is yes, from returnable glass. And what is happening in that market is that market is transitioning to premiumization. There's been a couple new market entrants over the last couple years that have moved to pure malt, that have upgraded their ingredients profile, and they have exclusively gone into cans. So the predominant player in that marketplace that overwhelmingly has or has a majority returnable glass share is having to change their ingredient profile on their beer composition and they're having to address from a competitive response standpoint, they're having to move the cans. And that is going to be an appreciable movement over the next three to five years. And so that is a, in the comments when we said demand was ahead of what we thought. It's all playing into the response from the incumbent there and move it more into cans.

Daniel W. Fisher -- Senior Vice President, Ball Corporation; Chief Operating Officer, Global Beverage Packaging

Yes. One other data point just in the first quarter and this is Nielsen data, but overall beer consumption increased a little over 1% in Brazil, while can demand increased 20 plus percent. That's just on the beer side. On the soft drink side, consumption declined a couple of percentage points and can demand actually increased one, so that by definition means the can is taking share from other packaging substrates.

Edlain Rodriguez -- UBS Equity Research -- Analyst

Okay. Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from the line of Ghansham Panjabi with Baird. Please proceed.

Matthew Krueger -- Robert W. Baird & Co. -- Analyst

Hi, good morning. This is Matt -- Matt Krueger on for Ghansham. How are you?

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Good, thank you. How are you?

Matthew Krueger -- Robert W. Baird & Co. -- Analyst

Good. So first I was just hoping that we could take a jog around the globe and just take a look at what your budgeted volume growth outlook looks like by region for 2019? And if there's any notable factors that we should consider as we move just in terms of the quarterly cadence of layering in that growth?

Scott C. Morrison -- Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, I think where we were this time 100 days ago was we thought kind of mid-single digits in Europe, South America, and maybe a little north of that in North America. I think North America is more or less in line with what we thought, of course were in April here heading into peak season or May, sorry beginning May. South America has moved a little bit ahead of that and so has Europe. South America, based on the comments I made on the last question as it relates to beer in the premiumization and the shift of cans in the Brazilian market. And then in Europe, it was really an energy movement and continued shift, I think in sustainability although I don't have a lot of data points to suggest that but the growth rate certainly was ahead of what we anticipated. As long as weather holds in the northern part of Europe we feel like we're poised for some decent growth ahead of that 4% or mid single-digit growth.

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes, you know Matthew, your question is also, I think there is a more important one longer term. We think that the megatrend is around sustainability. This is not just a 2019 event. I say that because we have had more conversations with existing customers talking about converting from other substrates in the cans. But more importantly we've had the most number of conversations with new customers that have never been in cans. They want to convert and whether it's the Spiked Seltzer whether it's some of the categories Dan mentioned or even Stillwater which we're seeing very strong interest in as this whole sustainability issue rises to the top. And so, I think this is a multi-year, if not decade type of conversion that will play out.

Matthew Krueger -- Robert W. Baird & Co. -- Analyst

Great. And then understanding that you're entering this higher growth phase in the business, can you talk about what your targeted operating leverage is across these new sales volumes that you're seeing? And then, how do you think you're performing currently with all the start-up costs, et cetera versus your ultimate kind of operating leverage goal on that new business?

Scott C. Morrison -- Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

Yes. Well I think in North America as we said I think we can do better. I would think we should be at historical levels if not a little better if we can extract kind of the commercial benefits that you should see with the supply demand market that's as tight as we have. You know, the challenge fundamentally in North America just to take a step back and walk through we've done the last two years, we've closed multiple facilities and we've started up seven new lines here in the last 18 months, and that's not an insignificant challenge. You throw on top of the fact of what John just indicated where we've probably moved from a half dozen metal supply programs into roughly 20. That's coming from all parts of the world. So I think managing that, focusing more on the supply chain, getting that stabilized, and as you said moving into this kind of growth paradigm, not only with our supply base but our internal employees and our processes. I think we should be performing at historical leverage fall through.

Matthew Krueger -- Robert W. Baird & Co. -- Analyst

Okay. Great. Thank you very much.

Operator

Thank you. Continuing on we now have a question from the line of Tyler Langton with J.P. Morgan. Please go ahead.

Tyler Langton -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Good morning, thanks for taking my question. Just on I guess Europe and South America I mean if the growth is kind of mid-single digit plus sort of this year -- with you current capacity can you support that for the full year or would you need either speed up lines? And sort of would you expect -- if you had to do that, I mean are there any sort of cost headwinds associated with that?

Daniel W. Fisher -- Senior Vice President, Ball Corporation; Chief Operating Officer, Global Beverage Packaging

Great question. We fundamentally have got through from a capacity standpoint because keep in mind we're just leaving peak season. So as we head into the fourth quarter next year that will really be kind of pre-build et cetera, and so we'll be fine for the next six to seven months. I'm actually heading down there in the next two weeks to go through a pretty extensive footprint analysis on that very question. But as John already indicated, if we're not going to get the returns, we're not going to add capacity, but yeah we will certainly, heading into next year, if we see growth rates at this particular juncture, we're going to have to look at incremental speed ups et cetera potentially on the backs of this movement or the substrate mix that continues to kind of candidly surprise a little to the upside.

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

And don't forget also that Dan's comments were directed largely toward Brazil. But don't forget that we invested in new line in Argentina, as well as Chile last year, and we will in Paraguay having a new facility start up late this year. So that's actually helping us to bridge some of that gap.

Tyler Langton -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Okay. That's helpful. And then just, with that good year I know sort of the -- to the lines being a little bit longer to ramp up few, can you just give a rough estimate of how much that's costing you and sort explanation (ph) for the balance of the year? And then does that, I know the, it was always, the goal was to get $50 million of benefits from Goodyear, this year, I mean is that something you can still achieve for the year or with these pressures does it get pushed out a little bit?

Scott C. Morrison -- Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

I think the cost drag in the first quarter is $5 million and that should decline as we move through the second quarter and hopefully we're running well as we get to the back half of the year. Full-year, the $50 million were a little bit behind of where we wanted to be, but we have every intention and every expectation that we'll be able to realize that the net benefit when we get up and running and remember the two lines were over complicated by having to switch sides (inaudible) so that's difficult when you're starting up and you got a new workforce. So as we smooth out that production capability I think all of that gets better and it gets to our original expectations.

Tyler Langton -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Great. Thanks so much.

Operator

Thank you sir. Continuing on our next question comes from the line of George Staphos with Merrill Lynch. Please go ahead, sir.

George Staphos -- Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Hi, everyone, good morning. Thanks for all the details.

Daniel W. Fisher -- Senior Vice President, Ball Corporation; Chief Operating Officer, Global Beverage Packaging

Good morning.

George Staphos -- Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Good morning, Dan. So I guess the first thing what I am going to do is come back to the comment and it has been touched on a few of the other questions and answers on I think Scott you said monitoring CapEx relative to returns. So I think on some ways that's self-evident what you're saying but can you talk about how that might play into the other capital allocation goals that you have for the next couple of years including the buyback that you've talked about and when would we see from you that you have enough visibility one way or another in terms of monitoring that CapEx and what it means for 2020 and 2021?

Scott C. Morrison -- Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

I don't see that our CapEx needs are going to change our return of capital to shareholders. We should be generous -- we have a nice bulk of earnings this year. We're going to get a nice bulk of earnings next year. Our leverage is down at three times by the end of the year. So we can definitely spend more capital and still buy $1 billion of stock. I'm not overly concerned about that. We've had the good fortune. George, you've been around a long time where we've been able to invest in our business through M&A and return a lot of value to shareholders. And I think now we just have a bigger cash engine to be able to do that. So we're not -- and in terms of incremental capital that Dan talked about his trip to Brazil, we've got another meeting here in the next week to talk about all that. To John's comment about incremental capacity where we can speed up lines. So it's too early to tell but where that might be and what that might result in, but rest assured we will be putting capital in the ground where we're going to get sufficient returns. And I think it's going to add to that earnings machine that allows us to continue to buyback and return a lot of value to shareholders.

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, and let's not forget, George, also just our goals for 2019 is $1 billion of free cash flow and that includes $600 million of CapEx and that $600 million -- our maintenance -- state of the art maintenance CapEx is probably in the range of $350 million. So embedded in and even in the $1 billion dollars of free cash flow is $250 million of growth. And so if you just extrapolate that out with a growing cash flow from the earnings, you can see how -- it may be plus or minus a little bit but it's not a big mover.

George Staphos -- Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Okay. Thank you. That's very clear. The second question I had and again, it's been touched on a little bit in some of the other Q&A, very helpful. On the one hand we hear from the other substrates about how they're finding, they need to educate the consumer, and this has been our premise -- it's kind of a battle for the hearts and minds of the consumer here that's important in terms of plastic versus paper versus glass versus aluminum. How do you -- if you buy the premise of this, how do you maintain aluminum's advantage when everyone else is now ramping up their and quote to education process, what makes you comfortable that you don't lose what's been an advantage to-date? And relatedly, Anthony touched on this in his question, how do you maintain the security on the supply chain and specifically what are aluminum companies telling you right now about their willingness to invest in more can sheet capacity? When last few years they have talked a lot about auto and other things that they claim they make more money on but obviously they are a little bit more cyclical.

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. George, let me take the first part and then I'll turn over to Dan on the aluminum supplier side. Let's remember, this to the consumer, this is not about cans versus glass versus plastic versus paper. This is about sustainability and doing right for the world, the aluminum beverage can far and away the most sustainable from a recycling point of view both in terms its ability to be recycled and the economics about recycling. The consumer gets that, so unless something fundamentally changed there and we keep our ears to the ground and eyes to the ground quite often on this unless fundamentally something changes there I think the aluminum can is always going to win out, and I believe the consumer is seeing. Now as it relates to the aluminum supply and aluminum suppliers. Dan, why don't you take that.

Daniel W. Fisher -- Senior Vice President, Ball Corporation; Chief Operating Officer, Global Beverage Packaging

Yes. George. Good question. As you can imagine we're having a number of conversations with our supply base. I think the comment that you introduced in there is something that they're very well aware of. Maybe they weren't aware of over the last two years to three years but the movement into automotive it's massively cyclical. There is a slowdown a foot. And I think there is a growing desire to find a another diversification outlet to put capital to work. Some have a -- it's a more difficult discussion than others because they're so wed to save time, you know publicly some of the automotive statements but it's clear that there are a number of folks that are absolutely willing and keep in mind the return thresholds on that in a tighter supply demand market we're having a very different conversations with them longer term conversations. And I think they're seeing a very different tone and tenor out of us. They see the upside of the sustainability message and I think folks are going to be willing to put some capital to work.

George Staphos -- Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

My last question and I'll turn it over, when we look at some of the incremental costs that you've incurred this quarter and expecting it in the second quarter because of the growth in the can. Thank you for passing the details on the aluminum credit and the like. Is there any embedded cost that is not variable and for which you could not get out of easily in other words have you needed to hire more people as are more fixed cost that you've built into the beverage can business because of the growth outlook that doesn't necessarily step down quickly 3Q and 4Q. Thank you very much, good luck in the quarter.

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes, George, this is the short answer that is no. There's nothing structurally that has change related to that. These are as you rightly pointed out these have been just short term growing pains.

George Staphos -- Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

All right. Thank you very much.

Operator

Thank you. And our next question comes from the line of Neel Kumar with Morgan Stanley. Please go ahead sir.

Neel Kumar -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Hi. Good morning. In terms of your customer conversations, has there been any changes in terms of the customer order patterns this year versus last year where it seems some money was left on the table because the industry was placing more just-in-time inventory orders?

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, there's definitely been I think there's a couple of beer companies, alcohol companies that have substantially outperformed expectations. They had changed their buying pattern in North America. We've had a number of really good conversations we're carrying, you can see -- you've seen on the balance sheet, we're carrying kind of record levels of inventory right now in anticipation of peak season. So we're in a much better position now whether or not we have placed the right bets of our customers on which products are going to sell through from Memorial Day through Labor Day, well that's kind of always the gamble, right, in terms of peak season in North America but I think we're in a lot better position heading into peak season than we were on previous years.

Neel Kumar -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

That's helpful. And I mean related to the beer market, we saw a pretty strong pickup in alcohol and can shipments, in North America the past couple of quarters. Has there been any improvement in the underlying beer market that you've seen or is that really just been driven by substrate switching?

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Not a lot of improvement in the beer market. There was one of our customers that probably did a little bit better branding and pass through and had some easier comps year-over-year. And they've also changed their -- you can see it in their advertising, they've changed to a multiple can sizes in specialty and sleek format. So I think that's all helping but what we are seeing is and we've talked about it probably for the last couple years, the big beer houses they have woken up to the fact that they need to sell what the end consumer wants and they've done a really nice job of pushing out new innovative products, alcohol related, but whether it's the sell-throughs or different can beverages or different types of spiked cocktails or mocktails, all of those are continuing to win in the marketplace and I see more innovation not less innovation as John indicated more in the cans. And so we're excited about all of that going forward.

Neel Kumar -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Great. Thanks.

Operator

Thank you, sir. Continuing on, our next question comes from the line of Scott Gaffner with Barclays. Please go ahead, sir.

Scott Gaffner -- Barclays -- Analyst

Thanks, and good morning.

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Good morning.

Scott Gaffner -- Barclays -- Analyst

Hey, Dan, as we look at the volume growth in North America, first quarter and sort of second quarter, I'm sorry, fourth quarter of last year obviously accelerated, how much of that -- because it is coming a lot of it from new product launches, how much of that is really based on underlying end market demand versus your customers filling the channels based on these new product offerings? Just trying to get an understanding of the sustainability of the growth at that particular level.

Daniel W. Fisher -- Senior Vice President, Ball Corporation; Chief Operating Officer, Global Beverage Packaging

Yes, it's -- I think it's definitely selling through, a good question, it's not channel stuffing. And the other thing, and I think John indicated, this is as it relates to sustainability. With a couple of years ago, new product launches in North America, the can would take roughly 30% to 35% of the share of all new products from a package mix standpoint. It's now moved closer to 70%. And so it's not just the new products, it's -- but the new products are overwhelmingly going into cans. They are selling through. Now some will sell through and some won't, right, and we'll have to deal with that added complexity but the reality is it's like where we see the most appreciable sign of the sustainability movement. It's not necessarily a shift from existing products that have been regulated out, it's all the new products that are coming out, they're innovative, they're new. They work well with various canned portfolios and different applications from that standpoint and that's where we're benefiting from. But right now, it's overwhelmingly the spiked seltzers and things that have gained a lot of traction last summer. It has distribution space and it's selling through. I would continue to see that through the summer.

Scott Gaffner -- Barclays -- Analyst

Okay. And then when you look at the manufacturing footprint, I mean going back to one of the previous questions on operating leverage on new volume. I mean clearly or not clearly but maybe you can just tell us, I mean Goodyear, I would assume as one of your largest if not the largest facility that you have. Is there opportunity on a go forward basis as you continue to invest capital in some of these regions to have more centralized production such that you could maybe leverage some of the volume growth a little bit better than you have historically?

Daniel W. Fisher -- Senior Vice President, Ball Corporation; Chief Operating Officer, Global Beverage Packaging

There is definitely an opportunity to do that. It's all going to be about, it all relates to what is the product and what's the end market price point of that product and how much freight can that product absorb? So if it's $3 a unit on a shelf and it's an energy drink they can absorb a heck of a lot more than a $0.99 Stillwater product. And so that comes into the equation on that. But leveraging fixed cost, multiple lines, multiple conversions leveraging your staff, leveraging your overhead structure, and candidly leveraging your supply chain and your inventory levels, all of those things will become more and more embedded in how we think about expansion moving forward.

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. Scott, this is John. The other thing that we'd like where we are and we've talked about this, in all the three major regions North America, Europe, and South America, our footprint -- our network of footprint is by far larger than anyone else. And so we have the ability to look at incremental speed ups in those 20 or so facilities in North America versus the new line and where to put that. So you have a network effects of all those things that gives us more options and more levers to pull as we're thinking about where to make product and where to ship product.

Scott Gaffner -- Barclays -- Analyst

Thanks for the color. Just lastly, John, and I think in your prepared remarks you mentioned lack of filling capacity or filling capacity coming online slower than maybe demand for cans is coming up from a consumer. Intra-quarter, there was an announcement about you investing -- co-investing with one of your customers around filling capacity. Should we start to see that more and more co-investing on filling capacity so that you could ramp up your customers' capacity at the same rate that you're at the end market is ramping? Thanks.

Daniel W. Fisher -- Senior Vice President, Ball Corporation; Chief Operating Officer, Global Beverage Packaging

Yeah. Well a couple of thoughts. Number one is, what you're specifically referring to, recall that we, Ball is not really putting any real capital in. It's -- what we're doing is creating enablement, enablement for our customer to be filling and enablement for us to actually have the cans to be filled. And so I would expect that much like we talked about the whole supply chain. I would expect that you should think that we're thinking about the whole supply chain on the filling side and on the metal side as well whether or not the investment we make investments into that is all about our core businesses making and selling and marketing cans. So it's an enabler on a stand-alone basis generate good economic returns we'd certainly consider that.

Scott Gaffner -- Barclays -- Analyst

Perfect. Thank you.

Daniel W. Fisher -- Senior Vice President, Ball Corporation; Chief Operating Officer, Global Beverage Packaging

Thank you.

Operator

Thank you, sir. Continuing on, our next question comes from the line of Brian Maguire with Goldman Sachs. Please go ahead, sir.

Connor Robbins -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Hey, good morning. This is actually Connor Robbins in for Brian Maguire. And so I come back to the 2019 reiterated guidance there, obviously you mentioned some headwinds with Goodyear as well as some of the aluminum scrap stuff and then maybe tracking a little bit less than that $50 million benefit that you expected from Goodyear. I just wondered if there were any other offsets that you guys expect in maybe another segment to bridge to that?

Daniel W. Fisher -- Senior Vice President, Ball Corporation; Chief Operating Officer, Global Beverage Packaging

Yeah for the full year I think aerospace is continuing to do extremely well and probably has an upside from what we originally thought. I think the European market is doing really well. We're getting hurt a little bit from a currency standpoint as it translates back into dollars. In Europe, I think that will do well we're seeing very strong demand we saw in South America and EMEA and Asia, OK so. I think across the board our businesses are probably in better shape now. Absent the softness that we had in North and Central America. But I think in all the other businesses including aerosol are probably better across the board than where we were coming into the year.

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. I'll just make one final comment. When we -- obviously we put out our 2019 goals way back in 2016. We're not running the company only for 2019. We're running it for 2022, 2024, 2030. This is a long term sustainability play. While we wish some of these short term headwinds related to the aluminum as well as the Goodyear start-up -- have not hit -- we wish they had not hit us. They did and it's reality, but we're focusing on maximizing the opportunity both short and long term for our stockholders.

Connor Robbins -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Okay great. That's very helpful. And then just one other on some of the specialty can growth. It seems like you guys mentioned there's some pretty strong growth there. And then you did mention in the press release the external cost to serve some of the -- especially can growth in that North and Central America segment. Just wondering this is more related to operational items or is there maybe not enough capacities that you guys have that's outpacing some of the demand expectation you have, gives us little more color there.

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes, I know the the two lines and Goodyear have multiple can sizes on them and yes we're not running as we anticipated and that certainly contributed to some challenges in terms of needing to get those cans from other locations out of pattern, footprint running more overtime and locations so collective drag by not having those two specialty can lines running where we thought they would entering the year.

Connor Robbins -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Okay. Great. Thanks for the details. I'll turn it over.

Operator

Thank you. And now we have a question from the line of Arun Viswanathan with RBC Capital Markets. Please go ahead.

Arun Viswanathan -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

All right thanks. Good morning. I guess I just wanted to get your thoughts on where we are and the sustainability adoption period. I guess it appears that growth has been a little bit quicker than expected. I guess what are your expectations for volume growth across different regions? I guess going forward, do you see that moderating? And has there been say a pull forward on the sustainability front. Thanks.

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, I think we we covered this a couple times earlier on this call. We think we're in the early stages of a long term secular change because of sustainability and I do think that as we look forward over the next period of time and we can debate whether it's three years, seven years, ten years you're going to see a lot more of the sustainability debate in front of us and it's our job to try and capture -- with the most sustainable package in the world, capture as much of the incremental growth from new products, Dan was talking about, as well as conversions whether it's on Stillwater, or other things that have a very, very low exposure to cans currently, there is a huge long-term opportunity for us, in every reach.

Arun Viswanathan -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

So it's fair to assume that I guess global bevcan growth should kind of remain in a 3% to 4% range for a little while, is that fair?

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

No. I think we have said over the past year, we think over the long-term without sustainability, depending on region, it's anywhere from 2% to 4% growth. So what we're saying is, at a minimum that's at the upper end of that growth and it could be a little bit more depending on how things break.

Arun Viswanathan -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

Okay, great. And then, just a quick question on capacity, I guess this aluminum can sheet has been tight for a while and looks like it will be again just given this growth, and I guess same with can capacity as well in North America. Where do you guys kind of come out on investments there? Do you think more investments on the can sheet side will be coming and similarly on the can side itself? How do you kind of view supply demand right now in early supply in North America? Thanks.

Daniel W. Fisher -- Senior Vice President, Ball Corporation; Chief Operating Officer, Global Beverage Packaging

Well, I mean supply from a from a rolling metal standpoint, we're importing metal right now. So yes there needs to be capacity increases. There's plenty of metal capacity but managing bodes (ph) in different supply chain levers all around the world is not the most efficient, the most agile way to do that. So we're in a number of conversations to help our metal supply base to figure this out along with us. We will continue to invest in this. We've seen it for a couple years. The reason again that we're up 20% in specialty growth is we've made significant investments over the last 36 months on specialty line investments. So we're able to step into some of these opportunities, as John has indicated and as Scott has reiterated, and I'm telling you again, we're looking at EVA accretive opportunities and investments and there are a number of conversations going on with customers right now. We'll continue those. We're not going to put any money in the ground unless we get them an appropriate level of return.

Arun Viswanathan -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

Understood. Thanks.

Operator

Thank you. And continuing on, our next question comes from the line of Mark Wilde with Bank of Montreal. Please proceed.

Mark Wilde -- Bank of Montreal -- Analyst

Hi. John, I wondered -- first of all if you could just put a little more color on exactly how that three-way joint venture in Arizona is working. I think I've heard you say, you aren't actually putting any capital into that business?

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, I'll only -- let me tell you what I can in a public forum as there's been a great relationship between this customer, their filling partner and also as a can partner and so we've entered into a filling operation and you know any time you make a manufacturing facility, the best way to optimize the economics is to think about the throughput and maximize the throughput of that. I think there's going to be third party filling capability in this as the customer ramps up and that third party filling capability. We know those customers that need to fill cans that may not be the customer that's investing and they are allowing us in the joint venture to pursue those so we are in charge of the third party filling of the demand from that filling location.

Mark Wilde -- Bank of Montreal -- Analyst

Okay that's right. And when I think about just Red Bull and juices which I think are kind of the two products that have been announced, it's fair to say that that plant is probably going to be running a very high proportion of specialty cans.

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. Almost exclusively.

Mark Wilde -- Bank of Montreal -- Analyst

Okay. And then when we were out in Boulder in early November I think you made a real point of talking about how the Can Manufacturers need the help replace the kind of profitability that a beverage company might have in other packaging formats like PET bottles right now which are very profitable for the soft drink companies. Where are you in that process. Do you think of convincing them that these alternative formats that you've got can replace those profit pools so that they end up being made whole.

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Well I think the greatest proof point we can talk about is a 20% global growth of specialty and flat standard 12 ounce volumes. And so your crush (ph) question is really better answered by our customers that are actually putting it on the retail shelf. But we have given them -- there's a reason why we make over 40 different sizes and it's giving our customers variety so they can look at whether the package is right in the seven and a half ounce container or 10 ounce container or 12 ounce or 14 ounce or 16 ounce and everything in between. And so we're going to continue to do that and that's going to mean as Dan has mentioned earlier that's going to mean more complexity and we need to get paid for that complexity. But if it's helping the customers improve the profit pool of aluminum as the consumer is demanding more aluminum good things typically should happen.

Mark Wilde -- Bank of Montreal -- Analyst

Okay. And last thing along this line it just seems like the craft beer market has moved pretty rapidly into cans and it seems like they've held their pricing. So I'm just curious do you think this is having an effect let's say on these Mexican beer companies that are still shipping to the U.S. predominantly in glass that they look at what's going on with craft has gone into cans and has held premium price, think such that maybe we'll see more of the Mexican beer moving into cans?

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, I think the one particular customer that you're probably talking about we have a really strong relationship with them. Keep in mind, there's a ton of -- there's an iconic image associated with that particular bottle and I think there's some real -- they believe there's some real market value associated with that. That being said, almost all of their new products that they're introducing are all in cans. And so it may not move appreciably, the one core product that's in glass but everything else that they're launching from an innovation standpoint is coming in cans, and we're in constant contact with them on an innovation standpoint. So your point is valid, I just think some of these iconic shapes are very difficult for a marketing organization to move from appreciably.

Mark Wilde -- Bank of Montreal -- Analyst

Yeah. Understand. I know what that image is.

Daniel W. Fisher -- Senior Vice President, Ball Corporation; Chief Operating Officer, Global Beverage Packaging

Do we drink in more of those, and I'm sure (inaudible) when the weather warms up here.

Mark Wilde -- Bank of Montreal -- Analyst

Yeah. All right.

Operator

Thank you, Mr. Wilde, for your question. Continuing on, we now have a question from the line of Debbie Jones with Deutsche Bank. Please proceed. Ms. Jones, it appears your line is muted. Please proceed. Your line is open.

Debbie Jones -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Hi, thank you. Good morning. I wanted to shift gears a bit and ask about aerosol. A couple things on that you mentioned kind of the low to mid single digit growth. I'm assuming that's in line with kind of industry trends. We haven't talked about it a lot in a while here. So wanted to get an update on that and then what you think the opportunities are from the sustainability perspective in terms of categories of that where you could see growth from that? And then lastly just as it pertains to your portfolio, is this something where you would expect it to become a bigger part of Ball over the next two or three years or with the opportunities then in beverage cans really dominating the capital allocation from the EVA approach?

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. Let me try and tackle those quickly. Number one, yes, it's in line with overall these industry growth that we're seeing as best as we can tell. Number two, I do think that the whole category that aluminum aerosol plays in is probably further behind the sustainability journey than the beverage world. And I'd say that for a couple reasons, there still is a tremendous amount of plastic in the personal care markets. That plastic is even more difficult to recycle because it's often different resins and multiple resins. And so I do think that the opportunity for the aluminum aerosol category to grow relative to the other substrates is even perhaps greater in that. But it hasn't caught on yet as much as beverage. And last but not least, it's difficult to answer your question about will it become a bigger part of our company or not. From a pure organic point of view, there is -- a couple years ago I would have said, yes probably, but when you have 8% global beverage can growth we look at it as a bottoms up issue, not a top down issue. So we don't target things to get bigger or smaller. I would have said aluminum aerosol has relative growth profile that was better than beverage cans. But if I had said that several years ago I would have been proven wrong.

Debbie Jones -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Okay, thanks for the help.

Daniel W. Fisher -- Senior Vice President, Ball Corporation; Chief Operating Officer, Global Beverage Packaging

Building on John's comment, there. You go into a grocery store list in North America. You got two aisles that are beverages. You've got 15 aisles of cosmetic, they are all in plastic. We have a number of conversations with retailers on -- they see the issue, they see it coming, and they need help. And so I think there'll be more and more opportunities in spaces that are tangential that we can bend metal and we can handle different apertures etc. that we can step into, those are to John's point. It's not moving as fast as the beverage side of things but stay tuned.

Debbie Jones -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Okay, Thanks, that's helpful. And I just want to ask about the comment you made about the aluminum cup. I get that it's pretty early stages but you did mention on this conference call, so I was wondering if there's any encouraging signs that you're seeing? And also just give a sense of what type of capital is involved with something like this?

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Oh the Aluminum cup. Dan, do you want to take it.

Daniel W. Fisher -- Senior Vice President, Ball Corporation; Chief Operating Officer, Global Beverage Packaging

Yes, we're making really good progress from development standpoint. You know we've got -- we've made investments from a pilot standpoint, Debbie. We would be launching it into a -- we'll be commercializing it this fall on some college campuses and some entertainment venues. Moving forward, there is a ton of conversations and commercial appetite for it. We have hired a dedicated general manager for that business and we're building a team and around that and it's full speed ahead. It's similar in terms of the economics to a can line, maybe a bit more, but in almost very similar to the output of a can line just in terms of the economics. This is very early stage this week. We haven't solidified that but in the engineering drawings and things that I'm saying to really step up the capital investment. The good news is we'll have an opportunity to leverage some of our existing infrastructure and overhead structure to pilot that.

I'll let John fill in more on some of the other things that are happening on that.

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes, strategically, we're very excited because on its own merits there is a huge opportunity. But there's also a lot of leverage because many of those venues whether it's college campuses, or sports stadiums, or museums, or other things as they talk about trying to go plastic free, cups are a big part of it and beverage containers are a big part of it and they don't want to just do one or the either, they want to go plastic free, this provides us a portfolio where they can completely dedicate their beverages to going plastic free and that's what's exciting about this.

Debbie Jones -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Okay. Thanks for the update. I'll turn it over.

Operator

Thank you. And now we have a question from the line of Adam Josephson with KeyBanc Capital Markets. Please go ahead.

Adam Josephson -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Thanks everyone. Good morning. Just one more on sustainability, Dan or John. Do you know what the recycled content of the aluminum you're buying is and consequently what the recycled content of the cans you're selling is? I've seen some data on canned central on the light but I'm just wondering if your suppliers actually give you that information?

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, it's a -- it's not the right way to be looking at to be quite honest because aluminum is fungible, so you can take an aluminum can, melt it down, it can go into a bicycle frame or it can go into a window frame. And so I do know that, to answer your question directly, well over 50%, it depends upon supplier but well over 50% is recycled content but I strongly encourage everyone not to be thinking of that because 100% of aluminum is recyclable and can go into a wide variety of products and that's why there's such great benefits recycling benefits of aluminum.

Adam Josephson -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Thanks. John, I think you said on the last call your customer negotiations for next year were nearly complete. Could you give us an update on the status of those negotiations and consequently what type of commercial benefit you're expecting next year and beyond if possible?

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, there really is no update relative to what we said 90 days ago and I said we're still in the documentation. So and when we have something to tell you that's more than what we have, we will tell you.

Adam Josephson -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Thanks for that. And Scott, I think you mentioned earlier, you're expecting earnings to be up nicely this year as well as next year. Can you just give us a little more context for that comment is that just based on volume expectations otherwise I think, you talked about next year as well and I just want to flush that out a little bit?

Scott C. Morrison -- Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, I think we'll be able to fix the issue that we're having around scrap, the next year with the contracts that we're entering into. I think we'll get out beyond the learning curve some of these start up lines and plants that we are experiencing this year. I think we'll see more volume and more growth across the business and weighted more toward specialty and some of those new commercial contracts kick in next year. So I think all of those things lead to improved results as we get into 20 and 21 and 22. So we're in a pretty good spot. We're pretty excited about the future.

Adam Josephson -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Thanks Scott.

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Pama, this is John. If there's one more question we'll take that, but we are over our allotted time.

Operator

Thank you so much sir. We actually do have one final question distance from the line of Chip Dillon with Vertical Research Partners. Please go ahead sir.

Chip Dillon -- Vertical Research Partners -- Analyst

Hey John. Good morning and Scott, good afternoon now for us. Thanks again for all these great details. No one (inaudible) asked about aerospace and you talk about such a huge potential backlog and it looks like this year a reasonable place to be -- know last year you did a $1.2 billion in revenues maybe this year's over a $1.3 billion. What kind of years could we see in 20, 21. You know when you talk about especially that shadow $4.9 billion I know it's lumpy and it gets spread out. But how can you give us some parameters around that.

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes thanks. Chip you're a good wingman for us because aerospace is a very exciting -- it's an exciting time and you know that's a long cycle business and what I mean by that is the visibility is much further out because of the one not booked and because of the contracted backlog what I'd tell you is the growth profile we see this year, we see continuing for the next couple of years at a minimum. And that's kind of over the next three years or four years so you should expect kind of a 15% to 20% growth and with comparable margins as we go forward on that. So it's really exciting. We continue to bid on things at a rate faster than we ever have before, we continue to grow the people in the facility side at a rate faster than we've ever done before because we see the opportunity set as we moved from components and sensors to full satellite become a full mission partner for our customers. Those trends are only continuing so as far out as we can see these trends will continue.

Chip Dillon -- Vertical Research Partners -- Analyst

And will the mix either in terms of type of customer. And I know mostly that's U.S. government. Will that change. And will the character of the contracts be materially different that is the mix of fixed price versus cost plus.

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

No I don't think so, you know we always have nuances but from a strategic point of view they should not.

Chip Dillon -- Vertical Research Partners -- Analyst

Okay. All right. Thanks for the help.

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Okay. Thank you.

Operator

Thank you sir, and Mr. Hayes I'll turn it back to you to continue your presentation for your concluding remarks. Thank you sir.

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Great. Thank you Pama. Thank you for everyone participating. We look forward to accelerating our momentum as we move to the second half of this year and we appreciate your continued interest.

Operator

Thank you so much. Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude the conference call for today. We thank you all for your participation and ask that you please disconnect your lines. Thank you. Have a great day.

Duration: 68 minutes

Call participants:

John A. Hayes -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Daniel W. Fisher -- Senior Vice President, Ball Corporation; Chief Operating Officer, Global Beverage Packaging

Scott C. Morrison -- Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

Anthony Pettinari -- Citigroup -- Analyst

Edlain Rodriguez -- UBS Equity Research -- Analyst

Matthew Krueger -- Robert W. Baird & Co. -- Analyst

Tyler Langton -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

George Staphos -- Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Neel Kumar -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Scott Gaffner -- Barclays -- Analyst

Connor Robbins -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Arun Viswanathan -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

Mark Wilde -- Bank of Montreal -- Analyst

Debbie Jones -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Adam Josephson -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Chip Dillon -- Vertical Research Partners -- Analyst

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