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Low & Bonar resumes dividend payments

16
Feb '10
Low & Bonar PLC, the international performance materials group, announces its preliminary results for the year ended 30 November 2009.

• Underlying sales down 22%, after adjusting for exchange movements.
• Resilient performance, reflecting wide-ranging and decisive cost actions taken early in the year to achieve annualised cost savings of more than £10m.
• Strengthened financial position following c. £30m Placing in February 2009 and strong cash management actions, reducing net debt to £67.4m (2008: £104.5m).
• Resumed dividend payment. Interim dividend (in lieu of final for 2009) of 0.8p per share.
• Underlying sales, after adjusting for exchange movement, improved across all end markets during H2, albeit still down 14% against H2 for the prior year.
• Performance Technical Textiles proved resilient, helped by improved H2 demand in particular from the civil engineering and transport sectors.
• Technical Coated Fabrics delivered a creditable margin performance against a more substantial decline in volumes.
• Clear strategy and measurable targets set in place to deliver shareholder value through organic revenue and margin growth, led by new Chief Executive Steve Good.

Duncan Clegg, Chairman of Low & Bonar, said:

“Our strategy of focusing on attractive niche markets for performance materials, primarily in technical textiles, has created a strong business that has performed creditably in difficult circumstances. We believe that we now have a solid foundation to deliver shareholder value through profitable, cash generative, organic growth. Medium term targets have been set for organic sales growth, operating margin, asset efficiency improvements and capital structure.

“The Group is confident of making progress towards these financial targets during 2010. This progress will come from our own management initiatives and is not dependent on a sustained economic recovery, the timing and pace of which remains difficult to predict.

“The Group's balance of early and late cycle activities leaves us well positioned to benefit when a sustained recovery begins. The impact of global stimulus packages should help to counter possible weakness in late cycle activities in our civil engineering market and positively impact demand in 2010. There is no shortage of ideas, determination and actions across the Group, the benefits of which should show through in the year ahead.”

Click here for more details.

Low & Bonar PLC


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