Pilkington sees no recovery this year

Pilkington, the UK glass manufacturer, on Wednesday delivered flat full-year profits in weak market conditions which it warned would not improve during the current financial year.

The world's second largest glass maker, which is in the middle of a three-stage turnround programme, saw operating profit remain largely flat year-on-year but the group was able to cut net debt by nearly a quarter to £664m ($1.2bn) from £861m thanks to increased cost cutting.

Sir Nigel Rudd, chairman, said this was due to a record cash performance, which had been the group's prime objective for the current part of its strategy.

But Sir Nigel also warned: "We do not expect to see significant improvement in trading conditions in our major markets this year."

The group said it would continue to focus on cash generation in order to reduce borrowing and invest in growth when market conditions improve in the last part of its turnround programme expected in 2005.

Pilkington's car glass division, which has outperformed the traditional building glass division over the last few years, once again chalked up a strong performance in Wednesday's full-year results. Operating profits from automotive products increased by 20 per cent.

Pilkington said the last year had seen the highest concentration ever of new model introductions in the car sector and that it had been involved in more than 50 product launches, including the Maserati Quattroporte and General Motor's Astra.

Building products continued to suffer, especially in Europe where there is strong price competition due to overcapacity. But the group also said there were signs of improvement outside Europe. On marginally improved revenues, the division saw a 13 per cent decline in operating profit.

Overall, operating profit rose from £175m to £179m on turnover that stayed largely flat at £2.4bn.

Net profit excluding exceptionals and amortisation came in at £151m versus £145 last year, whereas pre-tax profit fell slightly to £136m from £140.

Pilkington proposed an unchanged dividend of 5p, to be paid out of earnings per share of 6.2p.

Pilkington shares, which risen 31 per cent in the last 12 months, added 3.2 per cent at 87p in morning trading in London.

600450 Pilkington sees no recovery this year glassonweb.com

See more news about:

Others also read

The glass sector has the increasingly widespread requirement of having an unlimited catalogue of parametric shapes and creating new ones in a simple way without being an expert in the field.
Shoaib Akhtar is going to be back on Indian TV screens. He is going to be featured in the new TV ad campaign for Asahi Glass.
Glass Confusion is starting the New Year with Beginning Fused Glass group classes. The three-week course will be held Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Western Pennsylvania’s once-thriving glassmaking industry is dwindling, as did the domestic steel industry and for many of the same reasons: competition and cost.
Worldwide glass-substrate capacity is expected to continue to grow more than 40% each quarter through 2005, as a result of capacity expansion by existing glass-substrate suppliers and new companies joining the market, according to DisplaySearch.
Architects Robert and Esteve Terradas of Barcelona describe the city’s newly-renovated and expanded (45,000 m2) Science Museum (completed September 2004) as "a living museum that will set new standards in terms of transparency - a very modern construction that will enable the plants and animals inside to really live and breathe." The project was made possible by the use of an innovative grade of DuPont™ SentryGlas© Plus™ structural interlayer that is "UV-breathable, on the flat roof of an Amazonian rainforest exhibit".The UV-breathable 938 m2 laminated glass roof is rectangular in shape.

Add new comment