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Latin American ‘strength’ spurs Saint-Gobain glass packaging growth

By Mark Astley , 22-Feb-2012
Last updated on 22-Feb-2012 at 13:31 GMT

Glass packaging provider Saint-Gobain will continue to focus on emerging market development after strong Latin American sales “spurred” organic growth of more than 25%.

Verallia, the France-based company’s packaging segment, reported 30% organic growth compared to 2010 - with a “favourable” sale price increase of 2.7% for the year and strong sales in countries such as Brazil, Argentina and Chile driving the increase.

The firm recorded EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) at €418m for 2011 – surpassing the €400m predicted in the first half of the year.

The US, France, Italy, Spain and Germany continue to drive Verallia in terms of sales, but investments, developments and acquisitions in emerging nations including India have become a priority for the company.

The company expects packaging segment results to hold firm across all regions in 2012.

Latin American “strength”

“The packaging sector has benefitted from the strength for Latin America; the activity has been very dynamic in Brazil but also in Argentina and Chile, where our clients (wine producers) have enjoyed very strong exports,” a Verallia spokesperson told FoodProductionDaily.com.

Packaging segment acquisitions have helped the company establish itself in these emerging high-growth regions, the company added.

“In June 2011, Verallia acquired the public company Alver, one of Algeria’s leading glass packaging manufacturers and distributors. This acquisition confirmed Verallia’s growth strategy.”

“It established Verallia’s first industrial presence in the south of the Mediterranean Basin, a market which offers an important potential for filling of food jars and beverage bottles,” the spokesperson added.

Development was stepped up in high-growth countries, with the company shelling out nearly €300m to cover 13 acquisitions.

“For the packaging sector, we will focus on Latin America where we are in the process of building a third furnace in Argentina” said the Verallia spokesperson.

“We may also look for opportunities in India, which is a very big consumer of spirits, in the Mediterranean Basin (where we acquired Alver in Algeria) and in the new world wine regions.”

Overall sales increase

The company, which provides materials across a number of sectors including packaging, recorded an overall sales increase of 5% on 2010, with sales climbing to €42.1bn from €40.1bn.

“All of the Group’s geographic areas and Business Sectors contributed to this performance, led by vigorous momentum in emerging countries and Asia as well as further advances in markets related to industrial output in both North America and Western Europe,” a results statement said.

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