Enodis scraps dividend and cuts 100 more jobs

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The Independent Online

Enodis, the world's biggest food equipment maker, scrapped its final dividend yesterday and revealed that it will make another 100 workers redundant in the face of a severe downturn.

The company reported that group profit dropped to £63.8m, for the year ended 29 September, from £102.2m last year. Turnover was down 8 per cent to £1.08bn. Some 80 per cent of sales come from the US. Enodis has already axed 900 jobs this year and the new cuts will also mostly come from the US workforce. Peter Brooks, chairman, said: "We are taking all prudent steps to address market conditions which are likely to be even more challenging in the new financial year."

The biggest fall-off in business has been from US fast-food chains, such as McDonald's and Burger King, as new outlet openings and other capital expenditure have declined. Overall North American food service equipment business was down 10 per cent for most of 2001.

Andrew Allner, Enodis' chief executive, said customers were holding off on orders while they gauged the state of the economy. He added, however, that fast food business may pick up. "Our experience from the Gulf war was that people get more careful with their money and eat more cheaply," he said.

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