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Improvement in Performance Technical Textiles sales at Low & Bonar
Jul '10
Low & Bonar PLC, the international performance materials group, announces its half year results for the six months ended 31 May 2010.

• Strong and broadly based sales growth up 11.7% (14.1% on a constant currency basis)
• Normalised profit before tax up 31.4% (33.9% on a constant currency basis)
• £31.3m year-on-year improvement in net debt level
• Interim dividend of 0.5p per share (2009: nil) reflects confidence
• Performance Technical Textiles sales improved by 13.6%, at constant currency, with an impressive contribution from Colbond
• Technical Coated Fabrics performed well, with sales up 15.2%, at constant currency, and a significant uplift in margins
• Joint venture grass yarn production facility in Abu Dhabi now in commercial Production

Steve Good, Chief Executive of Low & Bonar, said:

“The Group has moved firmly forward on its organic growth agenda during the first half, and delivered solid progress towards its medium term financial targets which were set in February this year.

The much improved sales pattern established throughout the second quarter has continued into the start of the second half and our joint venture grass yarn production facility in Abu Dhabi is now in commercial production.

The declared interim dividend reflects the Group's strengthened financial position and much improved trading performance, as well as our confidence in the trading outlook. In our trading update of 4 June 2010 we indicated that trading was better than our original expectations for the full year, and our view remains unchanged.”

In the first half of 2010, I am very pleased to report that the Group has moved firmly forward and delivered solid progress towards the medium term financial targets which we set in February this year.

In the first half, sales increased by 11.7%, or 14.1% on a constant currency basis, compared to the same period last year, with profit before tax, amortisation and non-recurring items improving by 31.4%, or 33.9% on a constant currency basis.

Board changes
This is my first statement as Chairman of Low & Bonar following my appointment on 30 June this year, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the Group into the next phase of its development. I would also like to pay tribute to Duncan Clegg, who preceded me as Chairman, for his role in guiding the Group through a period of significant change. The Group is now well positioned to take advantage of future opportunities in the performance materials market.

Kevin Higginson resigned as Group Finance Director on 27 April 2010, to join a private company. I would like to thank Kevin for his invaluable contribution since he joined the Group in 2006. The search for his successor is well advanced.

Chief Executive's Review of Operations

Following the Group's resilient performance in 2009, in what were very challenging economicconditions, the Group has increased significantly its focus during the period on delivering profitable, cash generative growth from the existing businesses.

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