Owens-Illinois (O-I) saw a 4% volume growth for the year 2014 in South America thanks to gains in the beer market.

Reporting its full year 2014 financial results, it said volume growth was also up 2% in Europe.

The glass container manufacturer said it had positioned itself to benefit from fast-growing Mexican beer imports to the US through a joint venture with Constellation Brands, Inc. in Mexico, as well as a related long-term supply agreement with Constellation.

Overall though global volumes for 2014 were flat compared to the previous year. The company did however generate $329 million of free cash flow, its second highest on record.

Chairman and CEO Al Stroucken said: “Our European asset optimisation programme has strengthened financial performance in our largest region, and volume growth in South America allowed us to reach our margin target of 20% in that region.

“We are confident that our concentrated efforts to optimise our operations will improve financial performance, particularly in North America and Asia Pacific, where we experienced challenges in 2014.”