In our European Beverage Cans, we have implemented price increases on the open contracts, and volume growth continues to be strong helping to balance higher than expected aluminium costs. In the Americas, whilst volumes remain buoyant in South America, demand for soft drinks cans in the US has started slowly across the industry, although it is early in the season.
A strike began on 10 April affecting nine of our North American beverage can plants. On 1 May, we negotiated a Tentative Agreement with the United Steel Workers and our plant union presidents, which will be put to the members' vote later this week. To date we estimate that the strike has cost up to £15m. From a customer perspective, we have managed to minimise disruption and deliveries have been broadly unaffected.
Plastic Packaging overall is on plan and the restructuring programme announced late last year in Make Up is nearing completion.
Excluding the effect of the US strike, we currently anticipate the outcome for the year as a whole to be in line with our expectations, although, as advised at the preliminary results in February 2007, we still expect the impact of input costs to be most severe in the first half of the year.