Bridon anxious in spite of profit rise

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The Independent Online
BRIDON, the wire ropes and fibres maker, yesterday warned that trading conditions could be worsening in Britain.

The warning came as the company reported an increase in taxable profits from pounds 100,000 to pounds 700,000, on sales of pounds 162.5m for the six months to 30 June.

Graham Beswick, finance director, said: 'The UK market is showing some signs of deteriorating. Order intake in our wire rope business in the UK fell by 14 per cent in the first half, compared with the same period last year.'

Sales from some of its industrial textiles operations in Australia had also fallen by 20 per cent over the same period.

Although the results were helped by cost-cutting and a maiden pounds 200,000 contribution from four US acquisitions, profit margins remain wafer thin.

The company has halved its interim dividend to 1.25p following similar action at the end of last year. The payout is costing pounds 700,000, but with no tax incurred during the period, it is covered exactly by earnings.

Trading profits from the wire product division fell from pounds 3m to pounds 1.3m, while fibre products improved its contribution from pounds 400,000 to pounds 900,000. Industrial textiles cut its losses from pounds 300,000 to pounds 100,00, but engineering was down to pounds 1.3m ( pounds 1.7m).

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