The summer of sport has helped the number of beer and cider cans produced in the UK rise 2.4% in the first half of the year.

Figures released today by The Can Makers – the body that represents UK beverage can manufacturers – have revealed that total can shipments in the first half of 2012 have grown almost 2% year-on-year to 4.7 billion cans.

The performance of the beer and cider market had been boosted by the Jubilee and the Euro football championships, said The Can Makers, which added that shipments of soft drink cans had risen 1.5%.

In terms of format, Nielsen data showed the strongest growth had been in 500ml cans - largely driven by the energy drinks market. Single cans were continuing to increase their share of all sales, as were 10-packs, although six and eight-can multipacks still have the biggest share of the category. The sporting summer had helped to boost sales of larger multipacks such as 18 and 24-packs.

“The statistics show that cans continue to do well despite a tough economic market and bad summer weather, due to consumer convenience and competitive retail prices,” said The Can Makers chairman Geoff Courtney.

Last month, PepsiCo revealed that the 250ml can Pepsi multipacks it launched last year had clocked up £14m in retail sales in their first 12 months on shelf. The company said 60% of sales generated by the 250ml packs had been incremental to the multipack cola category.