Rexam expects sales growth in North America

DRINKS-can maker Rexam yesterday reported full-year underlying profit above estimates and said it expects sales to grow in its largest market North America, sending its shares up by over five per cent.

Rexam said it has a 20 per cent market share in North America, the world’s largest beverage can market with 100bn cans used per year.

“We’ll expect to see some high-single digit (to) low double digit growth in North America because we’re also seeing speciality cans growing very well there,” chief executive Graham Chipchase said yesterday.

Rexam, which counts Anheuser-Busch Inbev, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Red Bull among its customers, recorded 10 per cent growth in speciality cans volumes in 2012.

The company also expects 2013 volume percentage growth in the mid-single digits in South America as its customers gear up for the 2014 Football World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

However, it did not give an overall growth forecast for 2013.

Rexam said it would invest £115m over the next three years to build a new beverage can plant with an expected capacity of 2.2bn cans in Widnau, Switzerland.

The company reported an underlying pre-tax profit of £418m for the year to December, up from £414m a year earlier.

Operating profit from Rexam’s beverage can business grew five per cent to £465m.