NEW YORK - Owens-Illinois Inc. expects to be able to increase its plastics involvement in the area of containers for the health and beauty products market in 1996. Speaking at the Packaging Industry Outlook, Joseph Lemieux, chairman and chief executive of the Toledo, Ohio-based packaging giant, said the firm is making strides in its transition from glass containers to plastics in some segments, but that glass remains a main interest.
David Van Hooser, vice president and general manager of Owens-Illinois' plastics components operations, said the firm wants to consolidate its leadership role in the plastic closure business, and that sales of plastics could approach $1 billion worldwide in the coming year.
``We had $30 million in revenues at our joint venture in Mexico, despite the monetary problems there, and we expect good growth in the closure segment,'' Van Hooser said.
The joint venture is Regioplast SA de CV in Mexico City.
The company looks for continued growth in plastics, especially PET containers, in which Owens-Illinois is a major producer of containers outside the soft drink segment, he said.
Owens-Illinois officials also indicated that markets for laminated plastic labels, and in-mold label technology, will continue to grow.
``We are interested in expansion, and in acquisitions,'' Lemieux said, ``But we are looking for acquisitions that are as profitable as we are, and we have not found them.''
The company has been restructuring for several years, closing a number of glass plants, and plastic bottle plants in Fairfield, Calif., and Dallas, in 1994.
``We intend to continue to consolidate and restructure,'' he said. ``On the international market, we intend to implement what we see as our advantages in Latin America and in Europe, and to focus any acquisitions we might make on our core businesses.''
The company also is continuing its involvement with the medical products industry, having acquired the anesthesia and respiratory products business of Artec Inc. through its joint venture with BriGram Inc. of Morganton, N.C.