Turf business, European construction weigh on Low & Bonar

Industrial fabric maker Low & Bonar said it continues to expect full year profits to be ahead of last year, however, owing to the losses in at its synthetic turf business Yarns, profits are expected to be slightly below current market expectations.

Industrial fabric maker Low & Bonar said it continues to expect full year profits to be ahead of last year, however, owing to the losses in at its synthetic turf business Yarns, profits are expected to be slightly below current market expectations.

The group said there was persistent weakness at its Yarns business following a reduction in discretionary public funding for artificial sports pitches. As a result, sales, which account for 6% of the group, have again been materially lower than the previous year.

Low & Bonar said despite the restructuring of Yarns, the recent deterioration in market conditions would result in the business making a loss this year. The group said it is currently evaluating options to address this situation.

The materials firm also cautioned, that following a strong first half, growth in civil engineering and building products markets has slowed as European construction customers became more cautious.

Otherwise the group said trading since May at its key businesses has continued as expected, with sales, profits and margins comfortably ahead of last year on a constant currency basis.

Sales growth within flooring, industrial and transport segments has been satisfactory and consistent with the first half of the year, it added.

Chief Executive Steve Good commented: "Our key businesses are performing well and we expect to make further progress this year, despite tough European markets and the adverse effects of a weaker Euro. We have continued investing in capacity and capabilities to extend our global reach and support future growth."

Year-end net debt is expected to be at a similar level to last year, in line with guidance.

CJ

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