Portmeirion warns of dip in profits as sales slump

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The Independent Online

The ceramics specialist Portmeirion Group yesterday warned profits in the year to December were likely to fall below the £3.35m it made last year after the US slowdown hurt trading.

First-half profits have fallen significantly as sales in the US dropped after destocking by Portmeirion's largest American customer and falling consumer confidence. Portmeirion said it could not be sure that the US business would recover before the end of the year.

Sales in the UK were flat in the first half but are improving. Orders remain strong with the new Starfire Collection of table and giftware proving popular.

Shares in the company fell 7.5p to 167.5p as Portmeirion also revealed it would scrap plans for a new visitor centre at its Stoke-on-Trent potteries and instead focus investment on core manufacturing. Portmeirion will publish its results for the six months to June on August 16.