Rexam First-Half Profit Falls 24%, Hurt by Glass Disposal Costs

Rexam Plc, the world's largest beverage-can maker, said first-half profit fell 24 percent partly on one-time costs for the sale of its U.K. glass unit.

Net income dropped to 68 million pounds ($122.9 million), or 12.3 pence a share, from 90 million pounds, or 16.3 pence, a year earlier, the London-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. Sales rose 2.1 percent to 1.56 billion pounds.

Rexam incurred a 24 million-pound loss before tax from the sale of its U.K. glass business in May. Chief Executive Lars Emilson is focusing the company's glass operations elsewhere in Europe while building can-making plants in China, India and Latin America, where demand is growing faster than in the U.S. and Europe. Rexam gets about 80 percent of revenue from selling cans to companies such as Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. and PepsiCo Inc.

``The U.K. glass market is facing a difficult outlook with new capacity coming on stream and we felt that, as a single-site operation and the number three market player, we were not best positioned in this local market,'' Rexam said in its statement.

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