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Sonoco Products Co (NYSE:SON)
Q1 2020 Earnings Call
Apr 16, 2020, 11:00 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Q1 2020 Sonoco Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. After the speaker presentation there will be a question-and-answer session. [Operator Instructions]. Please be advised that today's conference is being recorded. [Operator Instructions].

I would now like to hand the conference over to your speaker today, Roger Schrum. Please go ahead sir.

Roger P. Schrum -- Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Affairs

Thank you, Josh, and good morning, everyone, and welcome to Sonoco's investor conference call to discuss our first quarter financial results. Joining me today are Howard Coker, President and Chief Executive Officer; Rodger Fuller, Executive Vice President; and Julie Albrecht, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

A news release reporting our financial results was issued before the market opened today and is available on the Investor Relations website of sonoco.com. In addition, we will be referencing a presentation on our first quarter results, which also was posted on our website this morning.

Before we go further, let me remind you that today's call and presentation contains a number of forward-looking statements based on current expectations, estimates and projections. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. Therefore, actual results may differ materially.

Furthermore, today's presentation includes the use of non-GAAP financial measures, which management believes provides useful information to investors about the company's financial condition and results of operations. Further information about the company's use of non-GAAP financial measures, including definitions as well as reconciliations of those measures to the most closely related GAAP measure, is also available in the Investor Relations section of our website.

Now let me turn it over to Howard for some brief comments.

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Roger. And good morning everyone. Let me start by simply saying thank you to our entire Sonoco team. I can't really come to close to expressing how much we appreciate the great work all of our associates are doing during these unprecedented times. The stories we are hearing from around the world about the extraordinary efforts our people are executing to meet the critical needs of our customers are truly humbling. Our team's efforts on controlling what is vitally important, including the health and safety of our people, the quality of our products, productivity improvements and cost management led to an outstanding first quarter.

I would also point out that our balanced mix of consumer and industrial businesses performed extremely well during the quarter as we had strong results across many of our businesses, particularly in the month of March, which we believe was largely attributable to consumer spending more time at home. That said the pandemic impact is clearly starting to weigh on some of our served markets as we enter the second quarter. Also the unprecedented increases in recycled fiber costs will have a significant negative impact on our second quarter results, which of course we will eventually recover. Julie will go through all of these results and our guidance in a minute.

Because Sonoco is a global company with more than 320 operations in 36 countries, we have been experiencing the realities of the virus outbreak since it was first reported in China in January. As the virus spread throughout Asia and Europe, the Americas and now across the globe, we've been working with our team to protect and help our associates to meet the critical needs of our customers and where we can contribute to our communities to help drive increased testing and assist healthcare workers.

On Slide 3, you'll see that throughout the globe Sonoco -- is an essential service provider of consumer, industrial and medical packaging. 80% of our consumer packaging sales are linked to food products, where we're being called on to meet an increased demand for consumers who are having to stay at home. Our paper operations in the US and Canada produce over 200,000 tons of uncoated recycled paperboard, which is used to whine toilet paper and other tissue and towel hygiene products. Our global tubes and cores operations play a key role in servicing the food, hygienic, medical and textile industries. We are also produce flexible and thermoformed medical packaging and our ThermoSafe division provides temperature-assured packaging for critically needed virus assessing and transportation of life saving vaccines and other drugs.

On Slide 4, you will see examples of how our associates have rallied to our customers' calls for help during the crisis to aid in fighting this deadly virus. Recently our Alloyd division received an urgent call from a medical customer to see if we could use our unique digital printing and laser scoring capabilities to produce plastic face shields to be used to medical providers and first responders. Alloyd has been experimenting with a unique digital process where we take a file straight from an engineers computer convert it to a machine code and able to make parts in an hour with no tooling or lead time. Our customer originally asked for 100,000 face shields and we were able to deliver them in a couple of days. That same customer increased its orders of 20 fold, and I'm pleased to say our Alloyd team is filling the order and preparing to produce much more.

Our ThermoSafe division has geared up operations and is working with one of the nation's largest logistics companies and a large medical products company to ship virus test kits to hospitals and medical research labs across the country using our unique temperature assured coolers. TEQ, our medical packaging business is currently gearing up to produce large quantities of thermal scan thermometer covers, which are essential for safe to use by healthcare providers. And our tube and core operations in Spain, worked over time to deliver tubes to be used by an automotive supplier who has retooled their operations to produce quality face mask for local hospitals. In addition, we're trying to help out where we can in our local communities.

As shown on Slide 5, we donated hundreds of safety glasses and other protective gear to our local Medical Center here in Hartsville to keep nurses and medical staff safe as they treat patients. Our Perimeter of the Store division donated thousands of pounds of clear PET sheet to Georgia Tech in Atlanta to assist in making 50,000 disposable face shields for medical personnel. These are just a few of the efforts which illustrate how our team is impacting lives around the world and we couldn't be more proud of their efforts.

With that, Julie, why don't you take us through the first quarter numbers and I'll come back to discuss our recently announced Project Horizon on machine conversion and conclude with some color on what we're seeing entering the second quarter.

Julie Albrecht -- Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Absolutely. Thanks, Howard. I'll begin on Slide 6, where you see that earlier this morning we reported first quarter earnings per share, on a GAAP basis of $0.80 and base earnings of $0.94 per share, which is above our guidance range of $0.83 per share to $0.89 per share. This $0.94 of base earnings per share is above the $0.85 of base EPS that we delivered in the first quarter of last year. At a high level, our first quarter 2020 earnings were impacted by overall lower demand, which was more than offset by strong productivity spread among various categories of fixed and variable costs. In terms of the $0.14 difference between base and GAAP earnings per share, the primary drivers were $0.09 due to restructuring activities and $0.06 related to non-operating pension costs.

Now looking briefly at our base income statement on Slide 7, and starting with the top line, you see that sales were $1,303 million, down $48 million from the prior year period and I'll review more details about our key sales drivers on the sales bridge in just a moment. Gross profit was $267 million, $4 million below the prior year quarter as our gross profit as a percent of sales was a very strong 20.5%. SG&A expenses of $123 million were favorable year-over-year by $19 million driven primarily by cost reductions across the business, which more than offset the addition of SG&A from acquisitions. All of this resulting in operating profit of $144 million, which is $16 million above last year. Our first quarter operating profit as a percent of sales was 11%, a solid 150 basis point improvement over the first quarter of 2019. I'll review the key drivers to operating profit on the bridge in a few minutes. Net interest expense of $16 million was $1 million higher than last year due to higher average debt balances, but mostly offset by lower interest rates on our floating rate debt. Income tax expense of $33 million was $6 million more than last year, driven by a combination of higher pre-tax profits and higher effective tax rate. Our first quarter 2020 effective tax rate of 26%, was 190 basis points higher than the prior year quarter due primarily to various discrete items. So moving down to net income. Our first quarter 2020 base earnings were $95 million or $0.95 -- $0.94 per share. I will add that first quarter OPBDA margins improved by 200 basis points to 15.8% versus the 13.8% in the first quarter of last year.

Now looking at the sales bridge on Slide 8. You see the volume was lower by $36 million or 2.6% for the company as a whole. We did have one less business day this quarter than in the first quarter last year, which likely represents 1% to 1.5% of this volume change, but my following comments about segment volume do not adjust to the same number of days basis. Consumer Packaging volume was down by $7 million or approximately 1%. This segment saw volume growth in Rigid Paper Containers in Asia and South America as well as in certain of our plastics food markets, but these were more than offset by lower volume in Rigid Paper Containers North America and Europe as well as in the plastics industrial business.

Display and Packaging volume was below last year, down $12 million or almost 9%, driven primarily by domestic displays and retail security packaging, which were indirectly related to the exit of our pack center contract in 2018. Volume in Paper and Industrial Converted Products was down $9 million or almost 2%, due to weak tube and core volumes in the US and Europe as well as much weaker demand across our Conitex operations. And specific to Conitex, they were negatively impacted primarily due to the coronavirus impact in Asia, during much of the first quarter. These decreases were somewhat offset by favorable tube and core volume in Brazil and in North America Paper where we continue to maintain high utilization of our machines through the pulp end-use market. And finally, sales volume in Protective Solutions was down by $8 million or 6% driven by the continued trend of weak volume in automotive and consumer fiber packaging, especially related to the appliance markets.

Now moving over to price. You see that selling prices were lower year-over-year by $25 million, driven primarily by our industrial segment due to significantly lower OCC prices and lower market pricing in our core gating business. You'll see on the OCC slide in the appendix that Southeast OCC official board market pricing averaged $42 per ton in the first quarter of this year compared to $75 average in last year's first quarter.

Moving on to acquisitions. You see an impact on the top line of $36 million from the TEQ acquisition in consumer and the Corenso acquisition in the industrial segment. Both operations delivered sales and earnings in line with our expectations. And finally, foreign exchange and other was negative by $24 million, with the largest driver being $17 million negative impact from foreign exchange translation, due to the stronger US dollar.

So moving to the operating profit bridge on Slide 9, and starting with volume mix, our lower sales volume of $36 million combined with the impact of mix had a negative impact on operating profit of $14 million. This impact was spread among the segments, but with a heavier negative drop-through in both the consumer and industrial segments, due to sales mix. Shifting over to price cost, I'll remind you that this category includes the earnings benefit from higher selling prices and the impact of all inflation and deflation including material costs as well as all variable and fixed costs. In the first quarter, we had $11 million of unfavorable price cost driven by not recovering sufficient price to offset our wage and benefit inflation. Absent this, sales prices less raw materials, energy and freight inflation or deflation was favorable by $4 million. Next, you see that the Corenso and TEQ acquisitions added $5 million to our first quarter operating profit.

Now continuing to total productivity, you see that our total productivity was positive year-over-year by $26 million with a favorable impact across all four segments. The main contributors to this positive impact were procurement and fixed cost productivity. And finally, the change in other was favorable by $10 million with various moving pieces, but mostly related to lower SG&A expense.

Moving to Slide 10, you'll find our segment analysis where you see that consumer packaging sales were essentially flat with the addition of TEQ being offset by lower volume, exiting the forming films operation in flexibles and the negative FX translation impact from the stronger US dollar. Operating profits in the consumer segment were higher by 9.2% on strong productivity as well as a one-time $3 million gain on the sale of certain fixed assets. Our consumer segment margin was a strong 11.5%, a 100 basis point improvement over the first quarter of last year.

Display and Packaging sales were down 11.8%, due primarily to lower volumes and a negative FX translation impact. Operating profit however, increased by 25% and margins improved by 200 basis points to 6.7%. As with the consumer segment, this earnings increase was driven by strong productivity. Our Industrial segment sales were down just over 4%, mostly from lower pricing due to the -- due to the decline in OCC market pricing as well as lower demand and negative FX translation. But all partially offset by the added sales from last year's Corenso acquisition.

Operating profit in the Industrial segment was higher by almost 12%. This strong earnings growth is attributable to the Corenso acquisition and improved productivity, the industrial segments operating profit was a solid 11.4%, up 160 basis points from the first quarter of last year. And finally, Protective Solutions sales were down 7.7% due to weakness in certain markets, but operating profit improved by 27% due to strong productivity results. This segment's margins improved to 11.8% or a 320 basis point improvement over last year's first quarter. For the total company, sales were down 3.6% while operating profit was higher by 12.5% resulting in company wide operating margins of 11%, a 160 basis point improvement over last year's first quarter.

So moving to cash flow on Slide 11. Our first quarter 2020 operating cash flow was $88 million compared with $92 million in the first quarter of 2019, a decrease of $4 million. This decrease was driven by an increased consumption of cash by working capital and by various changes in other assets and liabilities, which was largely offset by an increase in cash provided by accrued expenses. Midway down the slide, you see that our working capital balances increased during the first quarter by $68 million, which was a $22 million increase in cash usage by working capital compared to the prior year quarter. The primary driver to this higher working capital change was accounts receivable, which consumed $24 million more cash in the current quarter, compared to last year. The primary driver to this AR increase was sales mix and its related impact on average customer payment terms.

So moving on to free cash flow, which we define as operating cash flow, less net capex and dividends. Our first quarter of 2020 free cash flow was $14 million, a $4 million increase over the prior year period. This slight year-over-year improvement was driven by lower net capex spending of $11 million. Our growth capex spending in the quarter was $34 million, which was $8 million below last year. In addition, we had a $3 million increase in fixed asset sale proceeds in this year's first quarter. And finally, you see that our cash dividends paid in the first quarter of this year were $43 million, compared to $41 million in the prior year period.

Moving to Slide 8, I'll first note that we are withdrawing our full-year base earnings per share guidance, as well as our free -- as well as our cash flow guidance for 2020. This is specifically due to the unknown severity and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related lack of visibility to the impact on the Company's served markets. However, we are providing second quarter base EPS guidance of $0.73 to $0.83, compared to $0.95 of base earnings per share in the second quarter of 2019. This wide guidance range reflects uncertainties regarding the challenging macroeconomic conditions stemming from the pandemic, including the negative impact of higher recycled fiber cost and a stronger US dollar.

Turning to Slide 13. I'll now provide some additional comments about the key assumptions for our second quarter base earnings guidance. Related to COVID-19, we expect to have a mixed impact on demand for our products with the net impact being slightly negative to earnings, compared to the second quarter of last year. Howard will provide more color about the expected impact on our businesses in a few minutes. Also to prepare for expected and unknown challenges that lie ahead we are taking various actions to reduce our operating cost and our SG&A expenses above what we have been doing in the prior quarters.

Moving to our price cost expectations for the second quarter, driven by our outlook for OCC prices to continue increasing, due mostly to supply, demand dynamics related to COVID-19, we are expecting a significant negative impact to our industrial segments earnings, compared to the second quarter of last year. While we are proactively increasing our industrial segments pricing related to higher input and other costs we expect the timing of price cost changes to work against us in the near-term.

In addition, and also generally related to coronavirus and the broad global economic impact we expect the second quarter earnings headwind from a continued strong US dollar and from slightly higher interest expense, due to increased borrowings we are undertaking to increase our cash balances and enhance our short-term liquidity position. Finally, I'll note that we have assumed a second quarter tax rate of 25.5% in our guidance range.

Now shifting to our cash flow this year, we are also taking important actions to protect our cash flow generation this year. Among other things these include reducing our expected capex spend and deferring our voluntary US pension contribution related to the termination process to 2021. Specific to our updated capex forecast, which is $170 million, we have worked with our businesses to reduce our original capex budget of $195 million by $45 million, but we have added $15 million to $20 million of capex for the very strategic project horizon.

Moving to Slide 14, you see the recent actions we have taken to improve our liquidity position by entering into new term loans and accessing our revolver, while also increasing the short-term cash investments that we hold at Sonoco Products, the parent company. Our current liquidity position is approximately $650 million, which includes approximately $400 million of cash. In addition to focusing on generating solid free cash flow we will continue to review our options to potentially access the bank and debt capital markets. Our key objective is to maintain a strong liquidity position, as well as a solid investment grade balance sheet.

So this concludes my review of our first quarter financial results and our guidance and liquidity. So with that, I'll turn it over to Howard.

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Alright. Thank you, Julie. If you turn to Slide 15, I want to spend a few minutes talking about project Horizon, which is what we're calling a new $83 million capital investment over the next several years that will significantly lower our uncoated recycled paperboard mill operating costs in the US and Canada. The majority of this investment will go toward transforming our Hartsville corrugated medium machine, which you all should recognize us -- our number 10 machine and to a state-of-the-art be URB operation with annual production capacity of approximately 180,000 tons. This is machine has been designed with the goal of being the largest and lowest cost producer of URB in the world. We are calling this investment project Horizon as will be creating a much brighter future for our North America URB system, while resolving the volatility we have experienced over the past several years as an independent producer of corrugated medium.

Project Horizon will start with the development of a new recycled fiber stock prep system in Hartsville, which will allow us to use, lower cost, mixed paper and old corrugated containers, as our raw material. Our existing number 10 machine of a high-speed fourdinier machine that will be upgraded with new forming, pressing enroll finishing capabilities, as well as new electronics and controls. When completed this new machine will be able to produce a wide range of URB paper grades, which will allow us to meet many of our internal and trade customer needs. Design work and stock prep development will begin later this year and the machine conversion should be completed and online in early 2022. As part of the mill system optimization program we will also increase capacity of our Corenso mill in Wisconsin.

As shown on Slide 16 after the full ramp up of production, we're projecting that investment will provide approximately $24 million in annual cost savings, while delivering returns well above the cost of capital. As a result of the number 10 conversion will be exiting the volatile corrugated medium market by the end of 2021 and the expected efficiency of the converted machine will give the company, the opportunity to rationalize some of the higher cost assets and our mill system.

In a related announcement, we have made the difficult decision to permanently close our number three URB machine in Hartsville and our Trent Valley, Ontario, Canada paper mill, due to the slow -- slowing market conditions. We are working with the effected employees in Hartsville to transition them into other roles and the mill complex will provide retirement or other benefits and trend we're working with the local union to develop a closure agreement.

After this investment is completed Sonoco's mill system will be in the top quartile of performance and as illustrated on Slide 17, we will have nearly 8% cost advantage over the nearest supplier based on the third-party analysis of the project and this investment will also ensure the long-term viability of our Hartsville mill complex. Finally project Horizon will also generate important environmental benefits, including electricity consumption in our US mill systems by 16%, which will drive a 16% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, our total water used by our mills in the region will decline by 25%. As I mentioned we're starting to see the pandemics impact weighing on certain of our served markets as we enter the second quarter.

On Slide 18, we have put together a graphic, which attempts to illustrate the impact of the pandemic answering the second quarter on our diverse platforms with green, meaning it's generating a positive impact, yellow, meaning it's neutral and red meaning well, I guess you can get the picture. Specific to our business, we expect our consumer-related businesses to continue performing well in the second quarter, as food consumption trends should continue to be driven by stay at home consumers. In addition, we expect our paperboard operations in North America to be relatively steady as increased demand for paperboard serving the tissue and towel market should help offset declines of some of our Industrial Converted Products businesses. Unfortunately tubes, cores and cones volumes are expected to be negatively impacted around the world although there are pockets of strength in certain markets such as plastic film. As we mentioned, we expect recycled fiber prices to continue to increase during the second quarter likely reaching above $100 a ton by June, which should benefit our recycling operations, but provide a significant price cost headwind to our paper-based business during the quarter until we ultimately achieve recovery of those higher cost in the second half of the year. As a reminder, most of our paper tube and core contracts have quarterly material cost recovery mechanisms. In addition, we have announced a $50 ton price increase for paperboard and a minimum of 8% increase for tubes and cores in North America to help us to cover this higher inflation.

Finally, our ThermoSafe temperature-assured packaging business should continue to produce strong results, as it is supplying coolers critical for virus testing and pharmaceutical transport. However, we expect second quarter earnings in our Protective Solutions segment will be negatively impacted by lower demand in our molded foam and consumer fiber businesses, which serve the automotive and appliance markets.

In closing, one of the strongest aspects of our company, culture and people is our ability to rally ourselves through a crisis of our more than 120-year history. We have successfully navigated through floods, fires, hurricanes, financial market distortions, and now one of the worst pandemics in generations. Sonoco is a financially strong company. We believe our diverse business mix will remain resilient during the expected pandemic driven recession and we will come out of this crisis as a much stronger company.

Now with that, operator, would you please review the Q&A procedures.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Yes, thank you. [Operator Instructions] Our first question comes from George Staphos with Bank of America. You may proceed with your question.

George Staphos -- Bank of America -- Analyst

Hi everyone. Good morning. Howard, thanks to everyone at Sonoco for the efforts with the pandemic. I had a question really on the cost controls, when did they go into place and what do you expect to be able to generate from these cost reductions and productivity on an ongoing basis? And relatedly, how volume dependent are they? And I had a couple of follow-ons.

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Let me -- I'll let Julie cover more detail, but as you look at Q1, really the cost controls -- this is what we do. We've been looking at our overall costs for really all -- we're always challenging ourselves. So a lot of what we're seeing in Q1 or activities that we put in place through the second half of Q2 -- of last year. As it relates to the go-forward, we've got quite a bit of activity going on. And I'll just pass on the Julie and let her put a little more color on that.

Julie Albrecht -- Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah absolutely, and thanks Howard, thanks George. Yeah, I mean I guess I'd that echo part of what would Howard said, I mean, you think about our path over the past kind of year plus toward improving OPBDA margins, our focus on simplification, the business really management down through -- literally the operations have been really focused on taking cost out of our organization in many ways. I will say -- so you definitely see some of that pay off in the first quarter, but clearly in March and really the second half of March when we really moved into a lot from an overhead perspective, by that I mean office workers working remotely obviously a dramatic decrease in travel that did accelerate some of that cost savings, albeit that was not the largest driver in the first quarter.

So when we look at the second quarter, you obviously have several pieces of this. You've got the continued benefit from permanent cost takeout in our organization, you've got -- and then you got things that we I guess started doing at the end of the second quarter, less travel, obviously, people are working remotely. So you think about less cost around meetings that are even in-house and that type of thing. And then we do have various other cost reduction actions that we are starting to tee up that are really more specific to coronavirus and our expected -- the challenges we're facing in the second quarter and then obviously TBD after that. So I guess it's kind of a long way of saying, I think we feel good about sustaining cost reduction that we have put in place and then we are -- obviously some of the things that are trending down now like travel and that type of thing obviously will pick back up at appropriate times with business activity.

George Staphos -- Bank of America -- Analyst

Hey Julie. So I appreciate how tough it is perhaps to quantify and I appreciate the qualitative commentary, but is there any way to quantify on a run rate basis as you sit here today, what benefit you get from productivity from incremental costs, anything that would help us as analysts and investors figure out what kind of shock absorber you have the next few quarters? And if the answer is you can't really do that, that's fine, but I just wanted to try again on that first question.

Julie Albrecht -- Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, absolutely. I think when we look at the second quarter and we have talked as a leadership team about actions that we will be expecting to take that are call it different from what we have done in the first quarter. It's in that, probably $25 million expectation. So coming out of our overhead structure that are unique to the situation and that is part of again what we've considered in this guidance is despite a net negative impact from volumes and the drop through to gross profit. And obviously, the price cost headwind specific to OCC, this is -- these additional cost reductions are part of our mitigating actions.

George Staphos -- Bank of America -- Analyst

Thank you for that. Two quickies I'll put it in one question then turn it over, just to be clear. Can you comment, and maybe you did my phone line had dropped for a portion of the call at the end, what kind of volume trends you're seeing early in 2Q, and ex-pricing, what kind of price cost headwind or cost headwind are you seeing from OCC or maybe a better question is what kind of price cost are you banking on in 2Q with your pricing actions? Thank you guys, I'll turn it over.

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, from a volume perspective, just from a macro, the way we're looking at this, there is obviously as you saw in the red, yellow, green chart, we've got some, some very favorable conditions in select markets, but also we've got negative as it relates to in the commentary around automotive, white goods, etc. and a bit of mix in the middle. Effectively we are saying that it's pretty close to a wash as it relates possibly single-digit type volume related impact in the quarter and it really turns into a conversation around your second half of your question, which is the price costs. So we are seeing a very negative situation with the OCC spike that we saw and the timing of that spike in the very first week of the quarter. As you know our recovery is typically in the -- in the beginning of each quarter. So we're going to have to carry a bulk of that through the second quarter and that is one of the largest, the largest impact that we see as we go into this -- into this quarter.

George Staphos -- Bank of America -- Analyst

Okay. I'll turn it over. Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Mark Wilde with Bank of Montreal. You may proceed with your question.

Mark Wilde -- Bank of Montreal -- Analyst

Good morning Roger. Good morning Howard, Julie.

Julie Albrecht -- Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Good morning.

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Hi Mark.

Mark Wilde -- Bank of Montreal -- Analyst

Howard, I want to just to start off, if you give us any sense of the type of volume we might expect in the Industrial business in the second quarter? I think that's typically the most cyclical piece. And maybe just any reference to kind of what you saw in 2008-2009?

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, I'd say what Mark, I've got, as you know. Rodger Fuller here, and I think I can give you some pretty detailed color on that. But I will say is if we look at where we were in '08 and '09 the mix of the business has changed. So from a macro perspective, and again I'll let Rodger get into more detail, we are not looking at a similar type troughs as we saw back in '08 and '09, but Rodger if you don't mind just kind of --.

Rodger D. Fuller -- Executive Vice President

Yeah, thank you Howard. Mark, I'll just give you a few examples here. If you go back to '08 and '09, our industrial drop was about 17% from a volume standpoint in the depth of the recession. So if you look at the US in the second quarter, what we're modeling are low double-digit type declines driven primarily but we see the global textile market off 30% to 40% in the quarter. Mark, as you know, printing and writing, all communications papers we are saying are down 25% to 30%. There's 20 machines that we know of that already down in the second quarter or plan to take downtime in the second quarter. So that's a significant drop-off in the US. On the other hand, we're saying film will continue to be strong in the second quarter, up about 3%. Brown papers, containerboard we're saying up slightly quarter-over-quarter. So you take the mix of all that into US, Canada we are again down low-double digits. Europe's better, Europe's been probably dropping and we're saying in the 5% to 7% range. You'd see similar drops in the mature markets in Western Europe, but we're seeing offset and positive in Russia and Turkey and some of the other emerging markets. So that gives you a feel for the tube and core business in Europe. Our paper system is full, as Howard said from the beginning. And that's pretty much across Europe and the US. We see softness in Asia, but it's primarily China related and it is just demand, we're simply just meeting the demand of our customer base. So we're running our mill in China when we need it. Indonesia is fairly solid. So I think, hopefully, that gives you a feel for what you're looking for Mark.

Mark Wilde -- Bank of Montreal -- Analyst

That's perfect Rodger. I wondered could you also give us a sense of kind of what the bounce back has been to date in China?

Rodger D. Fuller -- Executive Vice President

Yeah, I'd say we were -- we were down to -- we're probably now at a led to sell on an average of 60% capacity across our -- and this is Industrial. If you look at Consumer we've been -- we've been fine, but in Industrial, I think we're running something like 60% capacity at the lows it was probably in the 30% range, Mark. So again, we're just -- we're running -- we're not missing shipments we're just running to the demand level that we have. So probably lows of 30 today, about 60.

Mark Wilde -- Bank of Montreal -- Analyst

Okay. And then finally, Julie. Just any thoughts on those year-end 2020 targets that you've laid out there? I mean I think in this environment, we all understand that getting pushed back, but can you talk with us about kind of a timeline or whether you backed away from those targets that you laid out a few years ago?

Julie Albrecht -- Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Mark, are you talking about the 16%?

Mark Wilde -- Bank of Montreal -- Analyst

Exactly.

Julie Albrecht -- Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, I think we mentioned that -- we don't -- I guess we don't have those as our explicit targets really publicly anymore although we are continued to focus on absolutely driving our profitability. And obviously coronavirus provides a unique challenge to the business and our immediate focus is keeping people safe, running our businesses, meeting our customers' needs, managing our liquidity. But I think, and Howard can echo this, not as much maybe the end of 2020, but definitely moving beyond that we remain committed to 16% or higher OPBDA margins. So we won't take our eye off the ball when it comes to increasing our profitability. Again, the sales target that was out there for $6 billion, again it's -- I think putting a timeline on that is not appropriate, especially now, clearly depends on our activity in the M&A, you know, part of our world. And so I think again, it's just a matter of over time. Well, definitely outside of 2020 how are we tracking toward growing the top line as well.

Mark Wilde -- Bank of Montreal -- Analyst

[Speech Overlap] Okay, I'll turn it over.

Operator

Thank you. And our next question comes from Adam Josephson with KeyBanc. You may proceed with your question.

Adam Josephson -- KeyBanc -- Analyst

Thanks. Good morning everyone. I hope you're all well and healthy.

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you Adam. We are.

Adam Josephson -- KeyBanc -- Analyst

Good, good. Rodger, just one clarification on what Mark was asking about. So I think you said you're expecting to be down low-double in industrial in the US in 2Q, but that you're paper system is full. So can you just help me just square those two comments.

Rodger D. Fuller -- Executive Vice President

Yeah, low-double digits in the tube and core side of the business, Adam. If you look at our paper system, our trade sales are holding up fairly well. Howard mentioned earlier tissue and towel still strong from the -- from the first quarter. If you look at flooring, so home improvement-type projects seem to be strong, edge board market seems to be strong. We're topping it off with pulp, so we're balancing out any downturn in tube and core with trade sales. And so far we think that will hold up to the quarter, Adam.

Adam Josephson -- KeyBanc -- Analyst

Yeah, thanks for clarifying it. Just one more, on OCC. So I think Howard mentioned you expected to be higher than 100 by June. This is all driven by COVID or so it seems like the demand and the fall in generation. Do you expect -- how are you thinking about conditions returning to normal, whatever normal might be at this point, do you think that after June the economy is going to start to get back to something resembling normal. Collections will improve and then paper demand will fall off a bit after the panic buying, or how are you thinking about the progression of OCC later in the year.

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Really, you know it is back to that old crystal ball isn't it Adam. So as we, we really don't know what to think about Q3, Q4. That's why our focus has been really trying to give you guys best color as we can on Q2 and the rest, remains to be seen at this point in time, but we do think that the conditions are such that that we will see the inflation that we noted or I noted in the opening comments, and we'll just have to see how that plays out as this whole pandemic issue plays out.

Adam Josephson -- KeyBanc -- Analyst

And just on the Consumer business, can you just talk about what you saw in March from the panic buying, what you're seeing in April, presumably your customers are trying to replenish their inventory. Just give us a feel for what you saw in March if you're able to fulfill all those orders? What about April? And then how you see it trending into May and June?

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, we -- is there an echo going on here? Really it started for us obviously here in the US and for the most part in Europe to -- toward the mid part of March. Yes, we saw relatively strong demand on the -- particularly on the food side of the business. We've been able to fulfill the orders, yes, not an issue for us, it really boils down frankly to a lot of our customers not having the capacity to fill the demand that they're seeing. So it really started mid March. It has continued to pick up, we expect it to maintain itself through the quarter and frankly as we -- and then this is just my philosophy on things, as we do hopefully start coming out of this, say in the third quarter or so we feel like it's going to take some time before the at-home consumption is going to really drop back to norm, it's going to take time for people to get back comfortable to go -- to go out in mass, into the restaurants, etc. So in a way we're looking at it -- the way I'm looking at it that we will see this thing peak at some point and then relatively hopefully self-decline back to normal. And at the same time, hopefully the Industrial side will be picking up on a relative scale to that as well.

The other thing I'd say is if you look at the mix of our consumer products. We do participate more in the -- in the snack type categories, the frozen sectors, frozen being the trays and mills for limited capacity plus very delicious frozen lasagna things like that, we don't feel like that the products that we are participating in on the consumer side are necessarily will be ones where folks will wake up and say, oh, my God, look we've got so many stack chips in our cupboard because we just didn't confirm on to stay at home. So we feel like long way of saying, it's going to be strong through the quarter and I'm optimistic that it will carry on at some scale for some time to come.

Adam Josephson -- KeyBanc -- Analyst

Howard, last question just on the Perimeter of the Store. Obviously it's -- it was a push for the company to get to the Perimeter of the Store, as people are gravitating toward fresh food and away from center of the store packaged food and now we've seen similarly a reversal of that. What, how is this crisis affecting the Perimeter of the Store business for you both in California and Florida?

Rodger D. Fuller -- Executive Vice President

Adam this is Rodger. It held up on in the first quarter. We're -- some of our customers are struggling to get -- the farmers in Australia to get workers to pick the crops but our ag business was very strong in the first quarter, we're seeing high single-digit growth as we head into the second quarter in the ag business. The Berry season was a little bit late. The strawberry season, both the East Coast and the West Coast, we're seeing that pick up now. So all in all, it was from a demand standpoint, fine in the first quarter. We talked last time about the new leadership team we have in place. From an execution standpoint, our execution is improving on the West Coast, which is the former Peninsula Company where we had the issues. I'll remind you we spent almost $5 million in manufacturing improvements, capital improvements. We sold those kick in, the month -- throughout the quarter, we saw improvement in our manufacturing productivity in that business. So we're pretty optimistic going into the second quarter that it will hold up and was call it mid-single-digit growth. So all in all, not bad.

Adam Josephson -- KeyBanc -- Analyst

Okay, thanks so much. Rodger, appreciate it.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Ghansham Panjabi with Baird. You may proceed with your question.

Ghansham Panjabi -- Baird -- Analyst

Thank you. Good morning, everybody. I mean you've covered some of those Howard. But just specific to the second quarter. I mean, I understand that you don't have a lot of visibility beyond that, but for 2Q specifically relative to the guidance you've given, let's say, $0.78 at the midpoint, what are you embedding in terms of the aggregate segment volumes across each of the quarters? And then second, can you just give us a breakdown, Julie in terms of how you get from $0.95 from a year ago to the $0.78 at the midpoint, how much of a headwind is from OCC? Thanks.

Julie Albrecht -- Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, Howard you want to talk about the volume and then I'll --.

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Sure. See if I'm looking at this correctly. On the Consumer side, looking at roughly 4% or so.

Julie Albrecht -- Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

It was single digits.

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Now [Speech Overlap] looking at. Yeah, so in total in Consumer low single digits, on the Industrial again negative side low single, D&P on the low-double digit side, on the negative side and Protective where I spoke to the automotive and the white goods sector, where we're seeing the biggest hit. And that's in the high-single digits negative.

Julie Albrecht -- Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

I guess, yeah, just to add some a little more color, Ghansham to your question about $0.95 to the midpoint this year of our guidance is $0.78. Yeah, I guess maybe first to start with some non-operational items that I mentioned, the stronger dollar headwind we are estimating, of course, we don't know where rates are going to go in the second quarter, but if you assume kind of a continued US dollar strength like we had in March, that's roughly $0.45 of a headwind to EPS versus where we -- were rates were last second quarter. I mentioned interest expense, it's very minor, maybe a penny or so of that. So, all in, call it $0.05 centish of non-operational negative items '19 to '20 in the second quarter. And then to all this impact on our portfolio, as Howard and Rodger have been commenting on, and I said in my comments from an EPS perspective, we are expecting that net-net to be slightly negative year-over-year, maybe another just $0.05 or so. Based on what we are estimating. Again it's hard to have the perfect crystal ball about what's coming our way in the second quarter, but we've kind of put our best foot forward here. You know from a price cost perspective, Howard -- we've again teed up this is fairly significant, you know I think best guess at this point is kind of a $0.10 to $0.15 headwind to EPS, again, we do expect OCC to trend up, but we are working on the top line. How much of the top line offset there, but again we are, I guess from a price cost perspective on earnings, we are in one of those quarters where we're battling kind of the up like uptrend right of cost and so we're going to be on the call it negative side of that like we are in certain other quarters.

Yeah, on the positive side, again year-over-year we got a few cents coming in from Corenso and TEQ year-over-year. So we can't forget about that positive impact and then really productivity, cost reductions, other inflation we're kind of just netting that all quite frankly to zero because it's hard to know exactly how all that's really going to play out. So that should, if you add all that up, hopefully gets you to $0.78.

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, I think it's backed to the opening comments that if you look at the mix of the businesses, we feel really good about how the portfolio balances itself out. This thing really just -- the quarter is really shaping up to be a price cost conversation around recovery of the OCC, which we will and that really is the bottom line. The big picture of what we're seeing.

Ghansham Panjabi -- Baird -- Analyst

Okay, thanks for all the detail. And then for my second question, I mean on the consumer side, just given the acceleration in volumes you're seeing. Should we expect any sort of growing pains as you ramp up production higher cost to serve customers etc. especially with this period of employee absenteeism or whatever you might be seeing from a logistic standpoint, how should we think about that particular dynamic?

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

I'll let Rodger comment in more detail, at this point, no, it seems to be more of an issue on our customer side. We do have pockets, particularly not necessarily well on of the former side of it with TEQ. We're making, Rodger, a billion plus annually of covers for thermometers, we could make 2 billion. So yes, we're rushing hard to increase that type of capacity. But in total, no, we're not really seeing an issue with us being able to supply the market and the market demand.

Rodger D. Fuller -- Executive Vice President

Yeah, I agree, I don't think you'll see any of that Ghansham. We got strong protocols in place across the global platform and operations teams done an excellent job of keeping people safe and keeping [Technical Issues] manufacturing during the first quarter was strong as has been in some time. So we've got some good momentum there. So I don't think you'll see any significant cost escalation due to the, due to the virus.

Ghansham Panjabi -- Baird -- Analyst

Okay, thanks so much. Stay safe.

Julie Albrecht -- Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Same to you.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Gabe Hajde with Wells Fargo. You may proceed with your question.

Gabe Hajde -- Wells Fargo -- Analyst

Good morning, everyone. I was hoping to kind of revisit Slide 9. And I apologize if you covered this Julie, my phone was cut off as well, but your EBIT bridge, I'm seeing unfavorable earnings of about $11 million talked about in the price costs and I appreciate some of that was coming from labor inflation. But I would have thought that given some of the rise in OCC would have hit, that happened in February, March, would have hit Paper Industrial Converted but yet profit was better than last year and certainly better than what our model was looking for. So I'm curious if there is anything unique to that segment on the SG&A side that happened?

Julie Albrecht -- Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. So, and I -- you had maybe a couple of questions there. So definitely in Industrial, they did have a -- they were you know maybe not quite half of that $11 million negative price cost and you're right, that was just all these moving pieces, but OCC going up, inflation catching up on sales price that type of thing. Although energy and freight are deflation in the quarter, slightly so various moving pieces in this total price, total cost category, but definitely Industrial was net negative again, call it, it could have been 40% or so of the total. But yeah, productivity, as I've mentioned throughout my comments was very strong, and this is driven this is procurement. This is manufacturing and this is fixed cost productivity. So the industrial segment did have very, very strong results in this area and so you take some negative price cost, a little bit of negative volume very strong productivity all those kind of probably netted to that zero in the segment. You know you add in the strong results from Corenso and well, that kind of gets you the pretty close to the -- the segment improved performance year-over-year in the first quarter.

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, when we were coming into Q1 with the initial inflation we saw on OCC, we felt like we were going to be able to balance that out as we said at that time with productivity with the investments that we've made in our mill network, really over the last three years. And as Julie said Corenso has turned out to be a really, really good asset for us and the team has done an excellent job and balancing the -- the supply chain, if you will, to take advantage of that low-cost machine.

Gabe Hajde -- Wells Fargo -- Analyst

Okay. And then maybe a little bit on Project Horizon. I'm curious if there is historical precedent that you've seen for I guess in the marketplace so converting containerboard machine to URB. This is not something necessarily I've heard a lot about, so.

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, first off, yes didn't necessarily stimulate why we did it. But once we acquired Corenso it gave us wow, that's exactly what they had done multiple years ago they taken a -- I'm not certain if it was containerboard, I think it may have been, but then converting it over to a world-class URB. So it's certainly gave us the footprint and the model and the confidence. Now in North America, we're pretty much a cylinder based network. However, if you go over to Europe we are more Fourdrinier. The Corenso machine is Fourdrinier. It also gave us the, as this number 10, which gave us the confidence as we very early on with the Corenso machine started integrating that board in our tube and core buildups, finding exactly how good the performance could be. This gave us all the confidence that yes, number one, we can do this conversion and we can do it quite effectively. We've got a footprint for it. And once we do the conversion, the materials coming off the machine are going to be very consistent with the performance of what we've been seeing off of our cylinder network for all these many, many years.

Gabe Hajde -- Wells Fargo -- Analyst

Thank you. Good luck guys.

Julie Albrecht -- Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Debbie Jones with Deutsche Bank. You may proceed with your question.

Debbie Jones -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Hi, thanks for taking my question. I wanted to focus on display and packaging, is a solid segment for you, but it would seems to me that there could be some risk there, if you stress test this business, what percentage of it do you think is more resilient and what might kind of suffer in this current consumer environment that we are in especially if they were to continue on?

Rodger D. Fuller -- Executive Vice President

Yeah, this is Rodger. I think, Howard mentioned we're estimating the second quarter down low-double digits. The promotional obviously promotional items obviously are down, so we're seeing that. Even some of the holiday promotional items we already starting to get some words that those will be reduced for this year. I think for obvious reasons. This is one of the businesses that Julie referenced where we've been very aggressive and very early came out with strong cost control. Took out significant amount of S&A out of that business in the fourth quarter and the first quarter of this year, we saw that pay off in the first quarter to a small degree, but that will hit more for the balance of the year. Also in that segment is our Alloyd business, our booster card business also we're seeing some headwinds, as you would expect for those types of products. But same story, very aggressive in the first quarter taking cost out, substantial cost out. So we're preparing for the worst and hoping for the best, but as far as volumes for the second quarter is that low double-digits and we're focusing on controlling cost and driving it as hard as we can. It all depends on how the virus plays out from -- for the holiday promotionals that could turn the other way, but again we're preparing for the worst.

Debbie Jones -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Okay. And if I could ask a bit more about OCC. I'm not asking you to predict the pricing, but could you just give us a more granular on and the ebbs and flows of collection right now or are we seeing an improvement, obviously there is a big impact from COVID-19, just kind of give us a bit more detail about what the problems are?

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, there is no, I'd say we're not seeing much improvement at this point in time. Generation is low to the point, we've actually pulled back ourselves in terms of export to make sure we've got enough material to manage our own network here. So at this point in time, we do not see change and therefore, as we opened up with. We expect to see further pressure on price as we head deeper in the quarter.

Debbie Jones -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Okay, thanks. I'll turn it over.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Steve Chercover with D.A. Davidson. You may proceed with your question.

Steve Chercover -- D.A. Davidson -- Analyst

Thanks everyone. So late in the call, but I am largely good, but this COVID crisis seems like the blackest of black swans, so compared to 2008, did you have time to even prepare, you had a long detonator fuse in 2008 and what lessons are you applying in the current environment?

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

You know we, we did one of the things we did early is go back to 2008-2009 as we talk about our liquidity, our obviously our cash balance, the impact it had on various sectors. And as we model out into Q2, we try to look at what do we see in '08 and '09 by market by segment and then carry that over to -- we're a different company today from a mix perspective, and what do we see during then carried it over to now using that as some type of gauge if you will, to say how bad could this get, could it get as bad as '08, '09, could it get worse, so we really use it from that perspective to help us build our models, which in turn were probably more face on the liquidity side of things and making sure that we're comfortable as we enter this situation. But I don't know if I'm answering your question, but that is the one exercise that we certainly did.

Steve Chercover -- D.A. Davidson -- Analyst

Okay. So it sounds good. Like there were a few lessons learned. And then just a granular one on display packaging. I know that your entire cost cutting initiatives have played into the better performance, but you also mentioned that the exit of the pack center was part of the reasons the performance for productivity was better. So, was that just exiting a money-losing business?

Julie Albrecht -- Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, this Julie. This is just to clarify the parts of the D&P business, Alloyd and I think to some degree the display business itself, they still had sales to certain customers kind of indirectly related to the pack center and so ultimately we ended up losing certain contracts. As we said indirectly related to exiting the pack center. So it's kind of like a follow on indirect impact that negatively been a part of that business volume since kind of like early really tied to mid last year.

Steve Chercover -- D.A. Davidson -- Analyst

Okay. So that's why 2018 event still resonates in 2020. Well, thanks, and keep safe everyone.

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, thanks.

Operator

Thank you. [Operator Instructions] Our next question comes from Brian Maguire with Goldman Sachs. You may proceed with your question.

Brian Maguire -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Hey, good afternoon. Thanks for taking my question. Just a follow-up on some -- some earlier questions around the OCC move and recovering that. And Howard, I think you sounded very optimistic about being able to recover that over time. I guess the question really just comes back to, how you see pricing in the industry. I know your predecessor maybe not you specifically, but your predecessor and others as OCC prices were going down, sort of talked about this being a supply demand driven market with pricing as opposed to a cost driven market. It seems to be now or imply a little bit more, this is going to be driven by cost, but just wondered how you see the supply demand part of it and can that be tight enough to get the cost recovery through even in the midst of what's going to be a pretty bad recession here?

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, I guess a couple of thoughts there. First off contractually, we will get the cost recovery at the end of the quarter. We've of course put out a general market. But our mills as Rodgers indicated running relatively full. As you all know, we announced earlier in the week that we are shutting down two mills and we say, hey, that's because of market conditions, it is because of market conditions, but let me remind you that, I guess, over three years ago, we announced the project $64 million, where we were going to invest into our best mills. So we actually increase the entire output by Sonoco through those investments. Now, the plan all along had been to take out higher cost assets when we completed that project. 2018 proved to be a remarkable years related to demand.

So we delayed taking those assets out and that really ran into 2019 first half. So the decision that of taking out capacity at this point in time, really relates to the fact that we are that much more efficient and creating that many more tons through this capital investment we announced three years ago, and we're just pulling the trigger on it. It's somewhat coincidental to the fact [Technical Issues] surge that and we need recovery. So again a long way of saying we're full, we've got very efficient assets outstripping and we're taking out the higher cost assets and we will recover the OCC as we've said.

Brian Maguire -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

And just a couple of questions on the Project Horizon, I guess, one just from a timing point of view, it seems like you're taking a lot of other actions to shore up the balance sheet, halven the liquidity, cutting back on capex, deferring the pension contribution. So why is now the right time to be, well I know it's not huge dollar amount, but if it's an extra $20 million of capex and $80 million or so, all in just why not maybe wait until we're at the other end of all this to make that kind of an investment? And I don't know, if you said or you can say, but about how many tons -- how many thousand tons of URB capacity, do you think is coming out between the number three machine in Trent Valley?

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well let me start with your last question effectively 35,000 tons, because if you recall, dating back multiple quarters, we've said that we have taken out, I think what 50,000 tons or 60,000 tons that was Trent Valley selling pulp into China. So this move really is only taken about incremental quarter-to-quarter type 35,000. Why are we doing Project Horizon, because we wish we have done it three years ago, frankly, that's the way I feel about it, but I think it's a reflection on the fact that we have a -- again, we have a very strong balance sheet, we can afford to do this, if it's a three-phase type investment some between $15 million and $20 million this year with some benefit implications mid next year from a stock prep perspective.

But well as if I think we opened up with in the commentary -- opening commentary is this is a time when you have strengthen your balance sheet that you can take advantage of some opportunities that when this incomes and it will come to an end we're going to be a much stronger company, because of that. So it's not only are we going to be making the appropriate strategic capital investments, as long as things stay as we see them. From a market perspective, we'll be looking at and any potential tuck-ons, bolt-ons etc. that makes really, really great strategic sense. Once we come out of this crisis, so that's why we're doing. We're hoping that in two years from now well, of course, I'll say, of course, but we hope we'll be out of this and we'll be that much stronger.

Brian Maguire -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Okay. Just last one for me, I know coming into the year, there were a lot of new product introductions to capitalize on the sustainability trend, and you guys had some test launches with some of your brand owners and customers, just given the environment and the climate that we're in. Are you seeing any of your customers look to maybe rethink or delay some of those launches, maybe they're just focused on other things trying to make sure they can get the shelf stock at the supermarkets, or maybe they're just worried consumers may not want to go for new concepts in a time, where there's so much uncertainty any kind of change on those plans?

Rodger D. Fuller -- Executive Vice President

Hi, Brian. It's Roger, I would call it more of a delay, I mean obviously sustainability is going to be critical. It is critical -- the critical again in the future. We are seeing some slowdown in delay and some of the people that we're thinking about potential conversions. Obviously rigid plastics packaging in today's environment with the virus especially transparent is very popular. So that's a good thing for many parts of our business. We have some major projects we're working on with some of our large customers for growth going forward that are continuing, is tougher in today's environment, but it's continuing. So I would just characterize it as a delay at this point. Nothing more than that.

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes, I think, if one thing I'll add to that is we've said it multiple times that our customers trying to figure out how to get their outputs ups, so we're actually seeing, we're limiting the number of SKUs, they want to put out, they just trying to pump out as much volume as they can. It's not with just with us across the entire sector.

Brian Maguire -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Okay, that makes sense. Thanks and yes, stay safe everyone. Thanks.

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks.

Julie Albrecht -- Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. Your next question comes from George Staphos with Bank of America, you can proceed with your question.

George Staphos -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Hi guys, thanks for taking the follow-on. I had two questions; one was just to piggyback on what Brian had teed up. I suppose at this juncture, if your customers are delaying sustainability. It's not based yet on any data they have on consumer perception. I don't know if you have any commentary on that. I guess would be there can't be, because it's been such a recent event in terms of what's been happening with COVID but one of your thoughts there?

And then you might have mentioned this earlier again, my phone had cut out. On the $45 million reduction in capex, the gross number, if you will. Can you quantify or bucket where those costs -- capex reductions occurred. Thanks guys and good luck in the quarter.

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

So, George on the underlying sustainability. First off, to be clear, we are very, very engaged and active with customers and terms of projects just the commercialization there, this -- I think going to be delayed, but we are continuing to work on select projects in that regard. The $45 million in capex, I think is really across the business, we were still focused on some pretty critical growth productivity projects, but Roger and his team -- we've done this before we look and say, hey, what can wait for another day and that's really across the entire company.

George Staphos -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

So Howard, there was no specific area that got a little bit more weighting in terms of reduction. Is that fair?

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

That is fair.

George Staphos -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Alright, guys, thanks very much.

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

You're welcome.

Rodger D. Fuller -- Executive Vice President

Thanks, again, George.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Adam Josephson with KeyBanc. You may proceed with your question.

Adam Josephson -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Thanks everyone for taking my follow up. Julie just on pension, I mean you were in hindsight smart enough to make that a couple of $100 million contribution a year or two back and then you're going to top it off with this $150 that you've deferred to next year. Can you just talk about how likely you are to make it next year and then relatedly what the -- to the extent you've mark-to-market your assets and liabilities. What funded status is looking like with just the steep drop in discount rates and a smaller drop in asset prices?

Julie Albrecht -- Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes, sure, Adam, I mean, I will tell you we are grateful among ourselves with our Board that we all made this decision to last year fund up to about 95% on a PBO basis, right? Which is the normal accounting basis and shift we really at about 93% invested in fixed income. And that's, that's of $1.4 billion of pension plan assets. So it's pretty meaningful and very specifically with those investments they are liability matched. And so, we work really closely monitor this monthly even before this crisis, right, with our actuary and our investment managers to make sure that the assets and the liabilities are moving in sync.

So we continue to estimate that on a PBO basis, we're still around 95% funded and we remain very committed to the ultimate termination process. So we are just, you know, quite frankly there are certain parts of the timeline we control and certain parts that we don't control, we weren't even sure it was going to be wrapping up this year anyway, but we are taking some actions to specifically push it into '21, but we do remain committed to ultimately putting in the final amount in a new advertising and removing the liability from our balance sheet.

Adam Josephson -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Thanks, Julie.

Julie Albrecht -- Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes. Of course, thanks.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Gabe Hajde with Wells Fargo. You may proceed with your question.

Gabe Hajde -- Wells Fargo -- Analyst

Thank you guys for taking the follow-up. I'll try to make it brief. Curious if you've seen any change in challenger brands versus kind of a bellwether brands that we're accustomed to seeing in the center isle of grocery store? I'm just curious if they're able to deeper pockets and more resources whether it's supply chain otherwise to make sure that their products are in fact on the shelf.

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Gabe, you were a little soft in the middle part of that, could you repeat that again?

Gabe Hajde -- Wells Fargo -- Analyst

Just any change from challenger brands to the bellwether large staples that we're accustomed to seeing in the center isle of the grocery store.

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

I don't think we've seen that at all. All I can say is that our customers and not only center of isle but perimeter as well as in the frozen side are just pushing out all they can. So is there a -- is there a slowdown as it relates to the emerging brands, I really can't speak to that. It's is just a heavy demand period right now, I would suspect, maybe that would be the case, but certainly not impactful and certainly not impactful to us.

Gabe Hajde -- Wells Fargo -- Analyst

Thanks again.

Operator

Thank you. And I'm not showing any further questions at this time, I would now like to turn the call back over to Roger Schrum for any further remarks.

Roger P. Schrum -- Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Affairs

Thank you again Josh. And again let me thank each of you for joining us today. We appreciate your interest in the company. And as always if you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact us. Thank you again.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 82 minutes

Call participants:

Roger P. Schrum -- Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Affairs

R. Howard Coker -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Julie Albrecht -- Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Rodger D. Fuller -- Executive Vice President

George Staphos -- Bank of America -- Analyst

Mark Wilde -- Bank of Montreal -- Analyst

Adam Josephson -- KeyBanc -- Analyst

Ghansham Panjabi -- Baird -- Analyst

Gabe Hajde -- Wells Fargo -- Analyst

Debbie Jones -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Steve Chercover -- D.A. Davidson -- Analyst

Brian Maguire -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

George Staphos -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Adam Josephson -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

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