Glass manufacturer Cristalerías Chile has forecast a stronger 2024 after an increase in sales in the first quarter of the year.

The glass producer estimated sales of containers had increased by 20% in the first quarter of the year, driven by sales in the domestic market of one-way formats for beers and bottles for wine.

The company’s President, Baltazar Sánchez and General Manager, Eduardo Carvallo, spoke at a shareholders meeting this week.

They said a recent investment in new production equipment would help it reduce costs.

Mr Sanchez said 2023 was a challenging year after a fire at its Padre Hurtado plant at the end of 2022 affected production levels. This was coupled with a depressed economic environment in Chile he said.

Mr Sanchez said: “Cristalerías has not been oblivious to this convulsed environment.

The fire that occurred at the end of 2022 in one of the glass container production furnaces at the Padre Hurtado plant, which affected the electrical and electronic systems of the packaging forming machines, forced the production of the oven to be stopped.

“Due to the furnace shutdown, during the first three quarters of 2023, the company's production capacity was reduced, which was lower than in the same period of the previous year, in turn negatively affecting sales and production costs and their consequent margins.”

He stressed that the company was focused on reversing the results of 2023 and recovering the levels of efficiency and production capacity that existed before the incident.

Its growth will be recovered, doing its best to maintain market leadership in beers and food, accompanied by greater export sales to customers he said.