In a trading update for the 11 months to end-August, diversified packaging company Nampak [JSE:NPK] reported lower sales of its plastic products, but said that beverage can sales were stronger than expected.
But food can volumes were down due to a loss of a major contract for canned vegetables.
The liquid cartons business had a strong operating performance supported by improved demand for beverage cartons to package milk, fruit juice and sorghum beer.
By late afternoon, Nampak's share price was down 1.6%.
The company's SENS report said while volumes for the plastic crates business remained subdued, a contract for the supply of crates to a major soft drinks manufacturer for a period of three years was secured.
The company retrenched almost a third of its employees in Angola after a slowdown in demand, and completed a "turnaround intervention" at Nampak Kenya, which resulted in the retrenchment of 19% of staff. All the workers at its Nampak Tanzania facility will be retrenched.
Bevcan Nigeria saw strong revenue growth in recent months. "Volume growth driven by a higher market share and growth in can pack share has been sustained into the second half while trading profits are expected to be flat for the year."