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Rexam: Slump in plastic packaging profit in 2009

Weak volumes and an operating margin down from 12.3% in 2008 to 10.5% led to a 30% slump in organic operating profit in the plastic packaging business of Rexam (London / UK; www.rexam.com) in the year to 31 December 2009. Sales in the plastics business declined 3% to GBP 1,241m (EUR 1,415m), but the underlying operating profit tumbled to GBP 130m from GBP 157m in fiscal year 2008 as efficiencies and the benefit of foreign exchange were unable to offset the impact of negative volumes and a change in product mix.

The headcount in plastic packaging fell by 1,100 in 2009 - equivalent to 10% of the workforce. Two plants were shut, reducing injection moulding capacity by 5%, and another five plants are scheduled to close in 2010 at a loss of 400 more jobs.

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