Weakening demand for soft drinks in North America will see Rexam close a third beverage can factory in the US, with the loss of 80 jobs.

UK-based Rexam said today (10 December) that it would close its plant in Oklahoma City.

The move will result in 80 job losses and a one-off charge of US$67m during the current financial year, Rexam said.

Falling sales of carbonated soft drinks, accelerated in recent months by a worsening US economy, has left Rexam with surplus capacity for 12oz cans.

In July, the group said it would close factories in Texas and Georgia, reducing annual production by 1.9bn cans. Oklahoma produces around 1.2bn 12oz cans.

Rexam CEO Leslie Van de Walle said: "[The US] is the world's largest beverage can market and we remain ever conscious of the need to maintain our capability to deliver world class quality products and services to our customers."

The firm said that, in addition to Oklahoma, it would also reduce end manufacturing capacity, resulting in "a number of associated staff reductions across the North American beverage can organisation".