The statutory results showed that sales were down 1 per cent, from £3.186 billion in 2003 to £3.145 billion in 2004. Underlying sales, which included the sale of associates businesses, showed that the company's sales were up 4 per cent to £3.124 billion, compared to £2.999 billion in 2003.
The company reported that its plastic packaging division represented £527 million of the total sales figures, up from £496 million in 2003. Likewise profitability for the division was also up significantly, with underlying profits coming in at £71 million, compared to £54 million in 2003.
With sales of over £2.5 billion, the company's beverage packaging can is still clearly its mainstay, but as both the size and profitability of its plastic packaging division continues to grow, so too does its importance within the business.
The company reported that its beauty business, which is one of the mainstays of the plastics packaging division, was 'generally buoyant', as sales of pumps continued to prove particularly strong.
Currently beauty packaging products are manufactured at 14 plants in Europe, Asia and the Americas - with Brazil, China and Indonesia accounting for its manufacturing interests in the developing markets.
This is in line with the company's increasing focus on emerging markets, which now account for nearly 15 per cent of the groups packaging operations. Currently its core emerging markets are Brazil, Russia and China.
Rexam's beauty packaging products include spray samplers, lipstick cases, fragrance closures, compacts, a series of closures as well as fragrance dispensing systems that centre around fine-mist pumps.
Looking ahead for the coming financial year, the company said it intended to remain acquisitive in the consumer packaging sector, with an ongoing search for any businesses that might bring added value for share holders.