Profits slump at Laird Group

PRE-TAX PROFITS at Laird Group, the automotive components group, slumped from pounds 34.7m to pounds 20.5m in the first half of the year, although turnover was up 9 per cent at pounds 548m. The setback stemmed from the sealings systems division; other divisions were little changed.

Problems were concentrated in Germany, where production changes to meet new car models failed to control costs. The management has been replaced but further losses are likely. The shares were down 16p to 196.5p.