Charges can Rexam profits

Charges can Rexam profits

One-off charges have dragged drinks packaging giant Rexam to net losses for 2009, but the group said its cost savings programme is ahead of schedule.

UK-based Rexam reported net losses of GBP29m (US$45.7m) for the 12 months to the end of December, against profits of GBP171m in  2008.

A GBP196m impairment charge and a GBP108m restructuring charge wiped out earnings for the year, said the group today (17 February).

Net sales rose by 5% to GBP4.86bn, largely due to favourable foreign exchange rates against sterling. Operating profits tumbled to GBP92m, against GBP380m a year earlier.

"Trading conditions were difficult throughout 2009," said Rexam CEO Graham Chipchase. "However, we produced a strong cash performance, our cost reduction programme is ahead of plan and we delivered record efficiencies."

He gave a mixed outlook for 2010.

"Although the strength of any global economic recovery is unclear, volumes appear to be stabilising. However, we expect business conditions in a number of our operations to remain tough."

Chipchase highlighted "an enduring weakness in beverage closures" and uncertainty over beer sales in Russia as areas for concern.

For the full announcement, click here.