Glass bottle and metal container firm Ardagh recorded a net loss of $94 million last year, as it absorbed a $186 impairment charge as a result of weak performance in its North American glass packaging unit.

The company, led by Irish businessman Paul Coulson, saw its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) drop by $30 million, or 2%, to €1.478 billion.

This led to a loss per share of $0.40 for the year, with adjusted earnings per share of $1.69, down from $1.84 a year earlier.

The New York listed firm, which traces its roots back to the Irish Glass Bottle Company, said however that revenue increased by 6% to $9.1 billion over the full year.

While revenue and adjusted EBITDA grew 4% during the fourth quarter.

"Metal packaging performed well in the quarter, with adjusted EBITDA growth of 12% and notable strength in beverage can demand during both the quarter and full year," said Mr Coulson.

"Glass packaging in Europe delivered another strong performance in 2018, with broad-based volume growth."

"Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter increased by 5% and market conditions are positive."

"In Glass North America, our ongoing initiatives to improve financial performance are proceeding as planned."

Last month Ardagh announced it had decided to permanently end production at its Lincoln, Illinois, glass container production factory which employed 150 people.

The move aims to improve the group’s competitiveness, as well as optimise the effectiveness of its capital investments.

The company is restructuring its Glass North America group in an effort to restore it to appropriate levels of profitability.

Ardagh runs over 100 facilities in 22 countries across 5 continents, and employs approximately 23,000 people.