Having previously sold its Closures business to Berry Plastics (Evansville, Indiana / USA; www.berryplastics.com) – see Plasteurope.com of 05.09.2011 – and with the Personal Care disposal in place, Rexam’s only plastics packaging business is its Healthcare operation. This continues to perform below expectations, however, and registered a 25% fall in underlying profit to GBP 27m (EUR 34m), although sales only fell 1% to GBP 219m (EUR 278m). There was volume growth in insulin pens, an activity that is being supported by a GBP 15m (EUR 18m) expansion in capacity at the plant in La Verpillier / France. Other Healthcare investments include a GBP 5m (EUR 6m) increase in capacity in Bangalore / India and a GBP 10m (EUR 13m) industrialisation project in La Treport / France.
Key to the overall Rexam business is Beverage Cans, which underpinned the operation in H1 2012, with volumes up 6% and the organic operating profit 9% ahead. In particular, there was global growth in specialty cans and a good performance in North America. A total of GBP 165m (EUR 210m) is scheduled currently for investment in Beverage Cans.
Chief executive Graham Chipchase said he was encouraged by the progress of the company’s continuing business, with the overall performance in line with expectations. The focus on managing costs and generating cash will remain, with progress to date providing confidence that a 15% return on capital will be achieved by the end of 2013.