UPDATE 1-Beverage can maker Crown posts higher profit

Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:28pm EDT

* Net income, sales rise 6 pct

* CEO sees signs of recovery in consumer demand

* Stock closes down 20 cents, ahead of results

NEW YORK, April 19 (Reuters) - Crown Holdings Inc (CCK.N), a maker of food and beverage cans, reported a 6 percent increase in quarterly profit on Monday, reflecting higher sales and the impact of currency changes.

Net income rose to $67 million from $63 million a year earlier. Profit attributable to Crown Holdings, excluding noncontrolling interests, rose to $41 million or $40 million, or 25 cents per share in both periods.

Excluding items, profit rose to 30 cents per share from 28 cents, the Philadelphia-based company said. Net sales increased 6 percent to $1.78 billion, and beverage can sales volume rose 4.5 percent.

Analysts on average expected profit of 27 cents per share on revenue of $1.79 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Chief Executive John Conway said North American sales volumes rose 3.9 percent, with "significantly higher" volumes in aerosol, metal vacuum closure and specialty packaging businesses. He said these increases are "leading indicators of recovery in consumer demand."

Crown shares closed on Monday down 20 cents at $27.13 on the New York Stock Exchange. The company released results after U.S. markets closed. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; editing by Andre Grenon)

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