SOUTH AFRICA – Nampak plans to open glass bottle factories in Nigeria and Ethiopia at a cost of $155 million as part of the South African packaging firm’s strategy of generating half of its profit outside its home market in five years.
Nampak has been expanding elsewhere in Africa to offset weakness at home where clients in manufacturing industry are cutting output due to subdued consumer demand.
The bottle plant in Nigeria would cost about $90 million and the one in Ethiopia would need about $65 million, said Chief Executive Andre de Ruyter.
De Ruyter said the Ethiopian factory, which would have the capacity to producer as much as 30,000 tonnes of glass per year, would have no shortage of customers.
“The Ethiopian beer market is growing extremely fast and virtually all of their glass is imported at the moment,” he said.
The factory in Nigeria, where Nampak already runs a beverage can business, would produce 50,000 tonnes of glass a year.
Nampak reported a 6 percent fall in full-year profit on Thursday as slack consumer spending in its mainstay South African market hit demand for its cans and bottles.
Nampak, which supplies plastic milk bottles to Britain and operates in several African countries, said diluted headline EPS totalled 208.2 cents in the year to the end of September compared with a 221.9 cents a year earlier.
Headline EPS, a measure of profit that strips out certain one-off items, is widely watched in South Africa.
Nampak said the results were further hit by losses at its glass packaging business due to a delay in bringing a recently installed furnace into a working condition.