Low & Bonar warns of lower first-half profits

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Materials maker Low & Bonar today said that its first-half profits will fall short of last year’s figure following a “slow start” to trading.

The company, which began life 100 years ago as a Dundee jute weaver, said sales within its flooring and artificial grass divisions during the six months to 31 May were “comfortably ahead” of the same period last year.

While harsh weather hit demand in its civil engineering and building products markets, it said improved conditions led to an upturn in sales towards the end of the half-year period.

Low & Bonar said: “Despite the slow start to the year, the group has continued to build organisational capability to support future growth and, as a result, first half profits will be circa £2 million lower than last year.

“However, with the group entering its traditionally stronger second half of the year with good momentum and exchange rates being more favourable, we still anticipate full-year profits to be in line with our expectations.”

The firm, which delivered a pre-tax profit of £6.3m for the first half of 2012, is due to report its interim results on 4 July.