Photo: Jeffrey Abrahams

CAPE TOWN -  Africa’s biggest packaging firm Nampak reported a 10 percent increase in first-half profit on Wednesday, boosted by strong demand for its beverage cans and plastic containers.

The South African packaging group, a leading maker of plastic packaging for milk and juice bottles for the British market, is overhauling its business to boost growth, including selling off some assets and stepping up expansion in Africa.

The company is in the middle of selling its loss-making glass packaging business, and expects a deal to be completed by first-half of next year.

Headline earnings per share totalled 132 cents in the six months ended March compared with 119.7 cents a year earlier, Nampak said in a results filing.

Headline EPS is the main profit measure in South Africa that strips out certain one-off items.

Nampak, which also operates in 10 other African countries including Nigeria and Angola, said revenue rose 2 percent to 8.8 billion rand.

Shares in the company were flat at 14.50 rand as of 1343 GMT compared with a 0.6 percent drop in the broader JSE All-share index.

-REUTERS