The Group's 'competitive manufacturing base' and 'a strong portfolio of innovative products' should ensure that the Pilkington remains resilient even in challenging times.
The figures show headline profits up 5 per cent to 234 million at constant exchange rates, with earning per share climbing 7 per cent. Turnover remains steady at 2.8 billion.
Sir Nigel said recent Board changes demonstrate the strength of the management team Pilkington has built up in recent years. 'Our investors now fully understand the dramatic change that has taken place in the culture of the business'.
He added, 'Stuart Chambers has worked closely with Paolo during the transformation of the Group, I have no doubt that he will make an excellent Chief Executive'. Pat Zito, 'is already making good progress in improving production efficiencies in North America, with strong support from the European Automotive business'.
Paying tribute to Paolo Scaroni, Sir Nigel said that 'it is no exaggeration to say Pilkington has been saved by Paolo, and I am obviously delighted that he has agreed to stay on as Deputy Chairman.'
Stuart Chambers told the meeting that the continuing focus on cost efficiency would be 'business as usual'. Pilkington now needs to generate cash in order to grow. 'Overall, our margins are good, but there is still a great deal to go for, particularly in North America. Over the coming year, market conditions will not help us much, but Pilkington itself is in great shape and ready to benefit from the upturn'. Early results from Pilkington ActivT are encouraging, with sales of ?30 million expected in the first year of full launch.