Low & Bonar’s Performance Technical Textiles biz performs well in H1

July 13, 2009 - United Kingdom

Low & Bonar PLC, the international performance materials group, announces its interim results for the six months ended 31 May 2009.

Operational highlights:
• Technical Coated Fabrics business performed creditably despite weakness in its major market, flexible side curtains for European trailers.
• Performance Technical Textiles business performed very satisfactorily, in aggregate, maintaining strong operating margins despite volume decline.
• Swift and decisive actions taken to reduce costs across the Group, achieving an annualised cost saving of significantly in excess of £10m in the second quarter.
• Further reduction in net debt, now more than halved year-on-year.
• Sales stabilised in the majority of our end markets, where we have successfully maintained our leading positions.
• Continued investment in future growth and high levels of product innovation.
• Further diversified into new sectors and geographies, in particular the Middle East and Asia.
• Focus remains on creating a leading global performance materials business.

Duncan Clegg, Chairman of Low & Bonar, said:
“The Group has seen an encouraging improvement in sales patterns during the second quarter and the period since.

In its business planning, however, the Board is only anticipating a slight recovery in year on year sales levels during the second half. Cost actions and raw material benefits will broadly mitigate the impact of the low year on year volumes. Due to our normal seasonal trends we expect a materially improved second half profit and, as a result, the Board’s expectation of profitability for the year remains unchanged.

With strong, well invested market positions and having focused on a number of cost and efficiency initiatives, the Group is well placed to benefit from any further improvement in sales as and when economies around the world recover.”

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