Highlights- Sales from ongoing operations up 5%, with strong organic3 sales growth of 10%- Underlying operating profit from ongoing operations impacted by high aluminium cost, US strike and currency translation of weak US dollar- Portfolio restructured towards higher growth with announced acquisition of O-I Plastics and Rostar and sale of Glass- Beverage Can continued strong demand in Europe and South America offset by weaker North American volumes- Substantial price increases gained on open beverage can contracts in Europe- Plastic Packaging sales up 4% and underlying operating profit up 11% on an organic basis; underlying margins improved to 11.1%- Significant capital expenditure to support future growthCommenting on the 2007 half year results, Rolf Börjesson, Rexam's Chairman, said:"The first half was every bit as challenging as we had expected, with the lower results masking significant progress in a number of areas.We delivered good sales growth; implemented substantial price rises on the open European beverage can sales contracts; invested further in organic growth and continued to make good efficiency savings.
"Rexam has undergone significant change in the first half of 2007. We stepped up the execution of our strategy to focus the business on higher growth, higher margin segments and emerging markets. To that end we sold our Glass business and will reinvest the proceeds in the Plastic Packaging and Beverage Can sectors.
"Looking ahead, we are confident that we are well positioned for future growth. We will maintain our focus on results delivery, and especially margin improvement, and we continue to anticipate that the year as a whole will be in line with our expectations".