Canada's leader in glass bottle making, Consumers Packaging Inc. has appointed a new trouble-shooter Brent Ballantyne as its chief restructuring officer, a move that is expected to lead to an increase in bottle prices for the Canadian drinks industry.

In a statement from Consumers Packaging a spokesperson said: "Mr. Ballantyne will manage existing creditors, evaluating proposals for its restructuring or sale, overseeing the development of financial projections and the dissemination of appropriate information to all stakeholders."

His mandate for change has come amidst gloomy preliminary results for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2000 showing net sales of $C1,543 billion ($976bn)with a net loss of $C137m ($86.7m)which climbed $C10 million from last year's losses of $C127m ($80.3m).

Analyst Robert Harwood, told just-drinks.com that the new management is likely to jack up prices, for lack of any other option.

"They provide a product that cannot be immediately duplicated. Their customers have nowhere else to go, so if the prices are higher, then at least the quality of the product won't suffer," said Mr. Harwood.

Consumers supplies approximately 85% of the glass containers used by the Canadian beer, wine, liquor and juice industries. It is the third largest glass making company in North America, through its subsidiary Anchor Glass.

The Company attributes its losses to the huge increases in the cost of natural gas, which it has not been able to recover through increased sales.