By Liz White, ERJ staff
London-Elementis plc saw continued strong growth in sales of its Linatex brand speciality rubber products to the mining and construction markets in the first half of 2005. This high growth carried across all market sectors, and operating profit has risen accordingly,â€ the UK-headquartered group said in its first half results statement.
A new Linatex joint venture started up in Chile, further adding to growth momentum, Elementis commented, adding that the rubber business is currently under strategic review.â€
Geoff Gaywood, chief executive of Elementis revealed in the firm's 2004 results that the group may decide to sell the Linatex unit-which was back in profit after a difficult patch.
All four Elementis businesses delivered good sales growth in the first half of 2005 compared to last year, despite softer demand for pigments and additives in the coatings sector,â€ said Gaywood.
Higher volumes in Specialty Rubber delivered a Â£0.5 million operating profit uplift,â€ he added.
Pointing out that Elementis will benefit in the second half from various cost reductions including a head office reorganisation,â€ Gaywood stressed external inflationary cost pressures of the kind that significantly impacted 2004 performance, particularly energy and raw materials, remain a concern, and a recovery of demand in the coatings sector is unlikely in the short term.â€
â€¢ Sales Â£223.6 million (2004: Â£176.8 million);
â€¢ Operating profit before exceptional items Â£8.1 million (2004: Â£5.6 million)
â€¢ Profit before tax and exceptional items Â£4.5 million (2004: Â£3.0 million)