Africa's largest packaging company, Nampak, has announced that it is investing R1.6 billion in two businesses which produce bottles and cans for the "growing" beverage market.
In a statement released on Friday the firm said that the first investment - worth nearly R1 billion – will be in a third furnace at its Germiston-based glass bottle business to improve overall manufacturing efficiency and enable it to supply a broader range of bottles. Commissioning of this furnace is expected by the end of this year.
The second is an investment - nearly R600 million – will boost aluminium beverage can capacity and convert existing lines from tin-plate to aluminium production, it said.
Nampak's chairman Mr Tito Mboweni explained, "These two projects strengthen our position in the beverage can and glass packaging sectors in South Africa and show our commitment to growing the South African economy."
Nampak also provided a trading update for Q1, ended December 2012, and noted that there had been "mixed demand" for packaged products.
"Hot weather in most parts of South Africa during the festive season resulted in good demand for beverage packaging but demand for packaging for many other fast moving consumer goods was subdued and selling prices remained under pressure in a very competitive environment," Nampak said.
Operations in the rest of Africa and the United Kingdom performed to expectations, it said.
Mr Mboweni added, "Despite the challenging economic conditions in South Africa where we generate some 70 percent of our revenue we remain confident of a further improvement in performance in 2013"
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