Yorkshire Chemicals beats tight margins

Yorkshire Chemicals boosted taxable profits by 10 per cent to £14.4m (£13m) last year in spite of rising raw material prices.

Phillip Lowe, chairman, said trading remained difficult and price competition severe, with lower average selling prices and higher production costs.

Speciality products, in particular, faced significant increases in raw material costs in the second half, which had squeezed profit margins.

The shares dipped 10p to 345p. Mr Lowe said he didn't know why the shares had fallen. "Although we said trading remained difficult, we also said the longer-term outlook was encouraging."

Yorkshire's growth was underpinned by increased production and sales volumes. This, in turn, had been driven by the company's £40m investment programme over the past three years to improve manufacturing capacity and product quality.

Turnover rose 7 per cent to £119.8m. Mr Lowe said: "It has been the same story for 12 years. We have made up for a weakness in demand and prices by driving up production and sales." Chemical prices over the past two years had fallen by about 8 per cent.

The company saw market conditions become more fragile and volatile as the year progressed, but all divisions had a strong fourth quarter.

Yorkshire Colours saw profits dip to £7.9m against £8.2m in the previous year. Yorkshire speciality products, despite the raw material increases, advanced profits to £3.9m (£2.8m), while Yorkshire Australia also did well, increasing profits to £3.7m (£3.2m).

Yorkshire America profits faltered slightly. Mr Lowe said the group hoped to benefit from increasing trade liberalisation and environmental awareness.

The group, he added, was also emphasising product innovation, with dyestuff ranges for cellulosic fibres being introduced this year.A strategic review would be completed in 1995 "to chart a course for continued growth into the next century".

A final dividend of 5.85p gives a total of 8.6p (8.1p).

Phillip Morrish, chemicals analyst at Smith New Court, the broker, forecasts 1995 profits of £15.7m, towards the lower end of the City range.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Evening Administrator

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...

Guru Careers: Executive Assistant / PA

£30 - 35k + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Executive Assist...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Reach Volunteering: External Finance Trustee Needed!

Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable