Poor demand hits Walker Greenbank
Thursday 03 April 1997
But an upbeat statement about current trading pushed the shares 6.5p higher to 65.5p - still well below the 100p peak they were trading at a year ago.
Profits fell 6 per cent to pounds 9m after a reorganisation charge of pounds 1.2m. The principal costs related to the centralisation of the consumer division's warehousing and distribution operations in addition to the centralisation of the customer services department. This resulted in the closure of five regional branches at the Muraspec commercial wallpaper subsidiary which distributes and sells wallpaper to offices and hospitals.
Though operating profits, stripping out acquisitions, rose from pounds 9.3m to pounds 10m, the figure was held back by poor performance in a number of areas, mostly in the final quarter of the year. Sales advanced by pounds 3m to pounds 99m.
The British operations of Muraspec suffered from a combination of poor demand and aggressive purchasing from customers. This had a knock-on effect on Brymor, the group's commercial wallpaper manufacturer, which sells 60 per cent of its output to Muraspec.
In northern Europe, the distribution businesses had a tough year with sales down 13 per cent due to poor demand in difficult economies.
But Walker Greenbank's consumer businesses did better as the UK housing market picked up.
Commenting on the outlook after what he described as a year of transition, chairman Charles Wightman said: "Our extensive capital investment programme and the re-structuring of our cost base have positioned us well to take advantage of market which are showing signs of improvement.
"This year I expect our financial performance to rebound as our strategy of investing for the long term begins to bear fruit."
He said the group's commercial business would benefit from the continuing recovery in the UK housing market while North American and the Far East also offered growth opportunities.
The dividend was unchanged at 3.7p.
- 1 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 2 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 3 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 4 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches, it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
iJobs Money & Business
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...
Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses reimbursable: Reach Volunteering: St...