UPDATE 1-Can maker Rexam says first-qtr results in line with expectations

Fri May 2, 2014 2:47am EDT

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May 2 (Reuters) - Rexam Plc, the world's second largest beverage can maker in terms of revenue, said overall results in the first-quarter were in line with its expectations.

The company, which makes aluminium cans for Coca-Cola, Red Bull, Carlsberg beer and Heineken, said it was feeling the effects of a strong sterling and high metal premiums but it expected to make progress on a constant currency basis.

Rexam, which focuses on aluminium can making after selling $1.3 billion of non-core businesses since 2011, said sales of its speciality cans in North America grew in the first quarter, while standard cans sales were in line with the market.

Rexam's full year is traditionally strongly influenced by sales it makes in its busy summer season.

The London-based company said a combination of good weather and the timing of Brazilian Carnival along with anticipation of the FIFA World Cup had pushed up sales at its South American business.

The South American business also helped it offset a subdued sales in Western Europe.

Emerging markets, which include its South American business, accounted for 34 percent of Rexam's total revenue in 2013.

The company has been eyeing expansion in emerging markets, and acquired a majority stake in Saudi Arabian can maker, United Arab Can Manufacturing Ltd, earlier this year.

Rexam competes with U.S.-listed Ball Corp and Crown Holdings, and is the only beverage can maker listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Shares in the FTSE-100 component closed at 510 pence on Wednesday on the London Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Tasim Zahid and Aashika Jain in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)