BRITISH Polythene Industries (BPI) has indicated half-year results will come in ahead of last year in spite of a loss in its North American operation.

The company said that loss was caused as a result of a delay in the delivery and installation of a replacement of the largest extrusion line at its facility in Edmonton, Canada.

That led to around ten weeks when the plant was unable to manufacture as much stock.

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Even though BPI tried to cover the shortfall from its other ­facilities, it did lose out on some business.

BPI, which also has sites in Dumfries and Ardeer and employs around 350 of its 2200 staff in Scotland, supplies customers in sectors such as agriculture, food and construction with a range of plastics and wrapping products.

The Canadian plant specialises in making agricultural and horticultural films which includes the likes of storage bags for silage, including storage bags for silage and grain.

However, despite the hiccup in North America the Greenock business, headed by long serving chairman Cameron McLatchie and chief executive John Langlands, said other areas of the business have performed strongly.

Mr McLatchie said: "The fact we are forecasting results ahead of 2013 shows the rest has done pretty well."

The floods in the south of England contributed to a slower than expected rate of early sales in the agricultural films market but BPI said things have since picked up with volumes close to the levels seen in the first six months of 2013.

Mr McLatchie said: "Once things dried out sales started."

Volumes of other products were also said to have shown modest improvement.

As a result, group volumes for the half-year are likely to be ahead of the comparative figure for 2013.

Although there has been a slight easing of raw material costs in recent months BPI warned it was starting to see increases in July, particularly in relation to polymer producers in western Europe.

BPI said: "The first half result underpins our confidence in current market expectations for the full year."