Global beverage can volumes up 6% for Crown

Strong sales in Brazil and Asia Pacific drove a 6% global volume increase in beverage can sales for Crown.

Crown also said European beverage cans posted a strong start to the year with a 4% increase in sales volumes, however sales of canned food on the continent fell 2%.

Net sales in the first three months of 2013 grew to US$1,973 million over the $1,947 million in the first quarter of 2012 due, the company said, to increased global beverage can sales offsetting lower raw material costs.

Overall, first quarter gross profits improved to US$299 million over the US$287 million in the 2012 first quarter, driven by beverage can sales primarily and reduced expenses, which offset lower profits in the European food sector.

In total Crown cut its selling and administrative expenses to US$104 million in the first quarter compared to US$106 million in the same period last year.

John Conway (pictured) chairman and chief executive officer said, “Overall we are off to a strong and promising 2013.  Globally beverage can volumes were up 6% in the first quarter, this is on top of strong double digit improvements for both in the same period last year, and reflects our capacity expansion projects in these growth markets over the last several years.”

During this quarter Crown commercialised a second beverage can lines in Putian, China and Bangi, Malaysia, “both on time and budget”, added Conway.

He also said the company would be opening new beverage can plants in Danang, Vietnam and Bangkok, Thailand in the second quarter of 2013 and, in the third quarter, will begin production at a new plant in Sihanoukville, Cambodia.

The company will also begun construction of a new facility in northern Brazil and expects to begin commercial shipments early next year.

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