* Full-year underlying pretax profit 418 mln stg, up 1 pct
* Revenue up 2 pct
* Beverage can volumes up 6 pct
* Final dividend 10.2 pence per share vs 9.7 pence
* Shares rise as much as 6 percent
Feb 20 Drinks-can maker Rexam Plc
reported full-year underlying profit above analysts' estimates
and said it expects sales to grow in its largest market North
America, sending its shares up as much as 6 percent in early
Rexam said it has a 20 percent market share in North
America, the world's largest beverage can market with 100
billion cans used per year.
The company gets about a third of its revenue from the
market, according to Thomson Reuters data.
"We'll expect to see some high-single digit (to) low double
digit growth in North America because we're also seeing
specialty cans growing very well there," Chief Executive Graham
Chipchase said in a post-earnings call.
Rexam, which counts Anheuser-Busch Inbev SA,
Coca-Cola Co, PepsiCo Inc and Red Bull among its
customers, recorded 10 percent growth in specialty cans volumes
The company also expects 2013 volume percentage growth in
the mid-single digits in South America as its customers gear up
for the 2014 Football World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
It did not give an overall growth forecast for 2013.
Rexam said it would invest 115 million pounds over the next
three years to build a new beverage can plant with an expected
capacity of 2.2 billion cans in Widnau, Switzerland.
The company, which competes with Ball Corp and Crown
Holdings, reported an underlying pretax profit of 418
million pounds ($646 million) for the year ended Dec. 31, up
from 414 million pounds a year earlier.
Analysts on average expected a pretax profit of about 414
million pounds, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Underlying profit excluded the sale of Rexam's personal care
business, which it sold in July for $709 million.
Operating profit from Rexam's beverage can business, which
generates 90 percent of its revenue, grew 5 percent to 465
million pounds. Beverage can volumes rose 6 percent.
Shares in the company were up 5.4 percent at 502.5 pence at
1014 GMT on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday. They rose to
505.18 pence - their highest level in a year - earlier in the