Plysu overcomes slump to post rise

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The Independent Online
PLYSU, the plastic bottles maker, shrugged off tough trading conditions to boost taxable profits by 14 per cent to pounds 10.8m for the year to 31 March, on turnover up more than a third to pounds 86m.

The results were boosted by a first-time profit contribution of pounds 1.4m from acquisitions. Earnings per share rose from 13.9p to 15.3p and the year's total dividend has been improved by 14 per cent to 3.32p.

The group incurred a pounds 51,000 interest charge last year, compared with interest income of pounds 364,000 in the previous year.

Plysu said difficult economic conditions in the UK were exacerbated by a recession on the Continent from last autumn.

The company acquired SEP, a packaging company, for pounds 13.5m last July but after a 'sound' start the business failed to meet expectations. The deteriorating conditions also hit Plysu's Dutch subsidiary.

In consequence, it was forced to close its Belgian factory, but Plysu said its European growth plans were unaffected as SEP's purchase had brought additional capacity.

However, it warned that the cost of its main raw material - high-density polyethylene - had hardened in the past few weeks.

James Summerlin, chairman, said: 'It is particularly difficult to forecast this year's results but there are small signs of an improvement in some of our markets.

'We are looking forward to a return to the customary growth pattern in the UK, but the true potential of our European activities will not be realised until economic conditions improve over there.'

Plysu's shares were unchanged at 248p.