Crown Holdings announced that its new glass bottle manufacturing plant in the municipality of Meoqui, Chihuahua, commenced operations last month, ahead of schedule, to serve the expanding beer market in the northern part of the country.

Through its subsidiary Crown Vichisa S.A. of C.V., the company invested US$ 120 million for the construction of its seventh plant in the country. The project includes a second stage in which an additional investment of US$ 80 million will be made in order to expand operations. For the operation of the plant, 200 people were recruited.

The facility has a production capacity of 145,000 tons of glass, equivalent to 750 million bottles, to be supplied to the adjacent Heineken brewery, which is also about to start operations.

The announcement was made during the presentation of the company's 2017 financial results, in which it reported net sales of US$ 8.7 billion compared to US$ 8.3 billion in 2016, primarily due to increased global beverage and food can volumes, the pass through of higher raw material costs, and US$ 19 million of favorable currency translation.

Net income attributable to Crown Holdings for 2017 was US$ 323 million compared to US$ 496 million in 2016 after interest expenses of US$ 252 million primarily due to an increase in average borrowing rates.   

Reported diluted earnings per share were US$ 2.38 compared to US$ 3.56 in 2016. Adjusted diluted earnings per share were US$ 4.03 compared to US$ 3.93 in 2016.

During 2017, the Company purchased 6.2 million shares of its common stock for US$ 339 million.

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