Warning at Anglian

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The Independent Online
SHARES in Anglian Group, the double-glazing company, fell 28p to 287p following a profit warning, writes Diane Coyle. The company said trading in its commercial division was disappointing and profits in the year to 2 April would be 'at the lower end of market expectations'.

The commercial division sells mainly to the public sector. Anglian was a preferred supplier to the Property Services Agency, which accounted for three-quarters of the division's turnover last financial year, but this business has shrunk since the agency's privatisation. Anglian has been only partly successful in replacing it with local authority contracts - which are also lower-margin. The commercial division's turnover forms only a tenth of the group total. The company said trading in its retail division was good, with orders ahead of the same period last year.

Even so, the commercial division's poor performance, coupled with higher group expenditure on research and development, would mean reported profits showing 'a satisfactory improvement over last year' but below many analysts' expectations. With such a clear signal, stockbrokers have revised their profits forecasts to pounds 25m-pounds 25.5m. Last year the group made pre-tax profits of pounds 23.2m.