Nampak’s glass operations were ‘disappointing’ in the first half of 2015, the company said in its financial report.

The South African glass manufacturer said overall group operating profit was down 9% due to a disappointing glass performance and headwinds in the domestic trading environment.

But the company’s Bevcan division showed ‘outstanding growth’ and was a major contributor to group profits as demand for beverage can increased.

Nampak chief executive André de Ruyter said: “The challenges experienced at Nampak Glass resulted from the commissioning of the newly installed third furnace and legacy issues from 2014.

“We have implemented a comprehensive plan targeted at overcoming production inefficiencies and operational constraints and are seeing good results from these interventions.

“Furnace 3 is ramping up and the final phase of commissioning was concluded with the pre-heater commissioning, a first for the southern hemisphere. We expect to see full furnace energy saving benefits reflected in the 2016 financial year.”

The company is evaluating glass opportunities in Angola, Nigeria and Ethiopia.

The company is unlocking close to R2 billion ($162.2 million) in cash for investment in new potential opportunities across all areas of its business in the rest of Africa, he added.

“The group’s operations in the rest of Africa are expected to continue generating growth in revenue and profit. Our strategy, which focuses on growing glass, metal and rigid plastics in key markets on the African continent, is supported by an exciting pipeline of potential expansion opportunities.”