First of the global canmaking firms to report results for 2011, Ball Corporation’s sales grew 13.1 percent to US$8.63 billion compared with 2010 as net profit slipped 5.4 percent to $466m.

But chief executive John Hayes (pictured) pointed out today that the Colorado-based canmaker had generated more than $500 million in cash and returned almost as much in share repurchases and dividends.

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