24 March 2010 16:12 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Chemicals and plastics companies should better emphasise geographic advantages when choosing customers and acquisitions, the chief executive of US-based Berry Plastics said on Wednesday.
Speaking at the 2010 World Petrochemical Conference in Houston sponsored by Chemical Market Associates (CMAI), Berry CEO Ira Boots said the regional strategy allowed his company to make numerous acquisitions and post its highest sales ever in 2009, despite the global economic recession.
"You can’t say you want to be everything to the world," Boots said. "North America is our playground and we know that. We spend an incredible amount of time understanding just who is in our marketplace."
Headquartered in Evansville, Indiana, Berry Plastics - which describes itself as a global manufacturer and marketer of plastic packaging, flexible film, adhesives and coated products - posted sales of $4.1bn (€3.0bn) in 2009, up from $3.6bn in 2008.
Berry said it continues to focus on demographics it is located close to - namely, those of US, Canada and Mexico.
However, its global share rose in the last decade, with 13 of its 81 global facilities now located outside the US. But even as the global presence increases slightly, the strategy remains the same, Boots said.
"We have Berry employees in those countries, and we draw alliances with the best companies in those regions," Boots said. "It’s very important to have an interface with customers to understand their packaging needs and new product developments."
In addition, companies should also pay particular attention to government policies in the countries they are targeting, Boots said.
"Policies do make a difference, and it’s so difficult at times to do things we know are right," Boots said. "The silent majority needs to become more vocal."
The CMAI conference lasts through Thursday.
($1 = €0.74)
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