Bottom Line: No plans at Whessoe

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The Independent Online
WHESSOE'S main business these days seems to be making itself smaller. Having only just completed its withdrawal from the project engineering business, it is now busy retrenching its Aiton piping systems interests. The instrumentation division is to shoulder the group's hopes.

So it is unfortunate that demand for tank gauges and like instruments has not risen as fast as expected at the time of the interims, making the rapidly worsening performance of the piping systems division seem all the more disastrous.

The board's solution is to shrink piping systems so that it is less noticeable - the resulting charge will push the group into losses this year.

While it is worrying enough that the board should have been over-optimistic about the growth prospects of instrumentation, on which all is now pinned, even worse is the absence of any strategy to reverse Whessoe's declining profits beyond reaching for the axe. Sell now.

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