Market Report: Printing specialist Xaar issues third profit warning of the year


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There’s a serious paper jam at digital inkjet printing specialist Xaar. The Cambridge-based group trotted out its third profit warning of the year yesterday, warning that revenue for 2014 could be a further 10 per cent lower than forecast, while 2015 is not looking any rosier. Xaar is looking to slash costs and 160 staff face the chop.

It blamed the poor performance on the end of the Chinese building boom, with not enough people there buying its ceramic tile printing products. Investors have clearly had enough, sending Xaar tumbling a stunning 136p to 231p. The company has lost 80 per cent of its value since the start of the year.

Pessimism continued to reign on the broader market. The FTSE 100 lost 111.13 points, its biggest daily loss since January, to 6,446.39, its lowest level since last December.

Equipment hire specialist Ashtead was one of the biggest losers, tumbling 39.62p to 984.38p after a surprise decline in US construction spending in August. Oil and gas explorer BG Group continued to fall, down 39.5p at 1,053.5p, as Goldman Sachs voiced concerns over its liquefied natural gas (LNG) business. And investors were still keen to sell J Sainsbury, off 9.2p at 224.8p, after its disappointing update earlier in the week.

A fall of 2p to 178.2p meant Tesco joined the 50 per cent off club yesterday – the company’s value has halved over the past 12 months.

In a rare dose of good news, troubled pubs group Punch Taverns added 0.49p to 8.99p thanks to progress on its debt restructuring. Lloyds, down 1.53p at 75.2p, has agreed to the proposed scheme, leaving only Royal Bank of Scotland, off 9.8p at 358.8p, to rubber-stamp the plan.

The hydrogen fuel cell specialist ITM Power added 0.5p to 20p on AIM as it highlighted that Toyota had unveiled a clean fuel sedan at the Paris Motor Show.

A snag in attempts to get an iron ore project in northern Sweden up and running sent Beowulf Mining falling 0.56p to 2.31p. Beowulf has been denied a licence to start digging on the grounds that transport routes to the mine would run through an area used for reindeer husbandry.