Rexam can growth up but ‘below expectations’

FTSE 100 listed can maker Rexam saw global sales of its beverage cans grow by 3%.

This was, the company admitted below its expectations, but the financial impact was offset by foreign exchange translation benefits and cost savings.

The growth, covering the first three months of 2012, was driven by volume growth in beverage cans by anticipated contractual gains in North America.

In Europe, good growth in Scandinavia was largely offset by weakness in Russia and a slow start to the year in the rest of western Europe.

Growth in Africa, Middle East and Asia was strong throughout the region, but in South America volumes were slightly down due what the company termed an “unfavourable mix”.

Rexam’s full year results for 2012,  announced in February this year,  saw beverage cans volumes up 6% and organic operating profit up 5% to £456m, but the healthcare operating profit was down from £65m to £48m.

However, the sale of the health care business has, since 31 December last year, also increased Rexam’s net debt after the £395m return of cash from the sale.

Graham Chipchase (pictured) Rexam’s chief executive said:  “Overall financial performance was in line with our expectations.  Although volume growth so far has been slower than anticipated, especially towards the end of the quarter, this was offset by foreign exchange translation benefits and cost savings.

“It is still early in the year, and the busy summer season traditionally influences our full year results.  We continue to expect to make further progress in 2013 and remain on track to achieve our 15% return on capital employed target.”

Rexam’s turnover is approximately £4.3 billion and it employ 11,000 people on average, in 24 countries.

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