(Updates with second-half profit)
* H2 profit rises 8.9 pct
* Volumes seen resilient in current year
* Company sees further growth in China
MELBOURNE, Aug 21 Australian packaging group
Amcor Ltd beat forecasts with an 8.9 percent rise in
second-half profit on Tuesday, boosted by acquisitions, and said
it expected sales for packaging of staple goods to remain
Amcor said acquisitions, growth in emerging markets and cost
cuts will also lift earnings in the current year.
More than 85 per cent of Amcor's sales are in the food,
beverage, healthcare and tobacco packaging industries, that has
helped it weather subdued economic conditions in developed
markets over the past three years.
Net profit before one-offs in the second half rose to
A$329.9 million ($345 million) from A$303 million a year
earlier, based on Reuters calculations. The result was above an
average forecast of A$309 million from 12 analysts, based on
For the full year, revenue slipped 1.8 percent to A$12.2
But Amcor shares fell 2.3 percent on Tuesday to A$7.54, as
investors had hoped for some capital management initiative.
Chief Executive Ken MacKenzie told reporters sales in Asia
and Eastern Europe have remained strong, with emerging market
growth led by a 13 percent rise in sales in China.
"In China, we see ongoing good consumer demand in the
segments in which we operate," MacKenzie said, pointing to food
and healthcare packaging.
Amcor bought out a joint venture partner in two flexible
packaging plants in Beijing and Chengdu in June, and expects to
see further growth in the north and west of China.
Amcor said its flexible packaging business, including
tobacco packaging, had a 16.9 percent rise in full-year earnings
and should achieve a "solid" increase in earnings in the current
The rigid plastics division, mainly drink bottles, had a
13.4 percent rise in full-year earnings, helped by acquisitions,
and earnings are forecast to be "moderately higher" in fiscal
Most of the company's growth over the past two years has
come from acquisitions, including five in the latest year and
the Alcan and Ball businesses two years ago.
(Reporting by Victoria Thieberger; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)