Trifast shares plunge after sales tumble 14%

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The Independent Online

Shares in Trifast, a maker of industrial fastenings, plunged 31 per cent after the company admitted it had made a "disappointing start" to its financial year, with sales in the first two months down 14 per cent.

Malcolm Diamond, the chief executive, blamed the "much- publicised overstocking in the IT business" for the fall in demand in April and May, as customers struggled to offload inventories. The company's shares dived 48.5p to 110p, its biggest one-day decline for more than a decade.

Mr Diamond said the company, which sells mainly into the electronics and telecommunications markets, would press on with its strategy to be a global supplier: "Everyone is struggling but this situation can only be temporary. It isn't logical to assume that world demand won't return to at least sensible levels." To keep the company "fit to take advantage of any upturn", he said, any job cuts would focus on unskilled labour.

Trifast remains committed to a bold acquisition strategy and is in talks with one or two European companies. Last month, Trifast bought a Taiwanese industrial fastener, Special Fasteners Engineering, for £15.26m.

The company's pre-tax profits before goodwill for the full year to 31 March were up 6.6 per cent to £11.85m.