London – Synthomer plc has experienced a solid start to the year with “especially strong” demand for its nitrile latex business, the UK group said in a trading update 26 March.
Trading, Synthomer said, is in line with 2019 and the expectations set out at the time of its full year results, which were published earlier in March.
Synthomer’s performance elastomer unit manufactures NBR (nitrile rubber) latex, SBR (styrene butadiene) latex and high solids SBR.
The segment registered sales of £623 million (€706 million) and earnings of £96.3 million for the year 2019. The unit accounted for 43% of Synthomer’s overall sales last year.
Sythomer said the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on both its production and demand had been limited.
However, it noted "significant uncertainty” caused by the ongoing spread of the virus.
In the face of the challenges, the group said it was “well advanced” on plans to realise further efficiencies across the business.
With raw material prices falling, Synthomer also anticipates that working capital to be reduced for the year.
Furthermore, the group expects its capital expenditure to come in “much lower than 2019” as additional capacity at its plants in Asia and Europe are now on-stream.