ICI faces pressure to drop share buy-back
Friday 26 April 1996
Pirc, the corporate governance action group, is thought to be trying to rally the institutional shareholders it advises to vote against a resolution allowing ICI to buy up to 10 per cent of its own shares at today's annual general meeting.
But ICI's finance director, Alan Spall, defended the resolution yesterday, saying it was part of the normal action of a finance director trying to enhance shareholder value. He remained unworried by the Pirc move. "We already have sufficient [proxy votes] in hand to clear all the resolutions we want to get through", he said.
ICI's shares slid 28p to 926p yesterday after running up strongly the day before on hopes that it would mount a share buy-in alongside first- quarter figures.
No purchases materialised yesterday and the results, showing pre-tax profits cut from pounds 244m to pounds 223m in the three months to March, were at the lower end of analysts' expectations.
They were accompanied by a warning from ICI's chairman, Sir Ronnie Hampel, that he expected profits to fall in the current quarter of the year, although "we remain optimistic that volume growth will resume in the second half."
ICI saw operating profits slide from pounds 231m to pounds 205m. The main damage was in the core industrial chemicals operation, where both prices and volumes fell.
Most of the impact was in Europe, which contributed to a decrease in the division's turnover from pounds 1.1bn to pounds 1.07bn.
But Mr Spall said the outlook was better. "At the basic end of industrial chemicals, certainly, there is evidence that the first quarter is the end of a pause period and, if the world continues to grow, we should see it continuing upward", he said.
About the only bright spot was the materials business, including acrylics, polyurethanes and films, where profits soared from pounds 29m to pounds 61m.
A 5 per cent fall in volumes was offset by prices 8 per cent higher than in the same period of 1995.
ICI said staff numbers fell a further 1 per cent to 63,100 in the three- month period, after a 6 per cent reduction last year. It said its plan to make pounds 400m efficiency savings by 1997 was on track.
Investment Column, page 18
tvSpolier alert: Find out the result of a heated final show
peopleWhat advice would David Cameron give to his younger self?
Beatles rush out 'bootleg' album to defy EU copyright law
Geoffrey Macnab reviews The Desolation of Smaug - the meat in Peter Jackson's Hobbit sandwich
Harvey Weinstein reveals his secret weapon on-set
Now that an oil trader's drinking has got him sacked, will we all have to make do with an afternoon latte?
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Idris Elba get nods for Best Actor, which no black Brit has ever won
Auction house to give away $1m masterpiece in charity raffle - and tickets are only $100 each
Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ sign language interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute in Soweto
Mystery of Epping Forest 'big cat' is solved
French café starts charging extra to rude customers
Australia: Gay marriage law reversed by high court less than a week after first weddings
Australia incest case: Severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ sign language interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute in Soweto
- 2 Mystery of Epping Forest 'big cat' is solved
- 3 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 4 Australia incest case: Severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 5 Physicists discover 'clearest evidence yet' that the Universe is a hologram
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Regulatory Man...
£50000 - £75000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Pre-Sales / Cl...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + Bonus + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Regulatory Man...
£40000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer (CCNP, CCIE, Netwo...