Forbo sales hit by slowdown in export markets

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FLOOR coverings maker Forbo, the last linoleum manufacturer in the UK, saw sales and profits hit by a slowdown in export markets last year.

The Swiss-owned company fell into the red, posting a £1.4 million pre-tax loss, compared with a £6.1m profit in 2011.

Sales slumped in 2012 to £107.7m from £122.9m.

Forbo Flooring UK, which is based in Kirkcaldy, was “affected by difficult global trading conditions, which adversely impacted sales to export markets, whilst in the UK sales were comparable to the prior year”, accounts filed at Companies House showed.

The firm employs 567 workers in the UK, down slightly from 577 in 2011. Globally, it employs 5,000 staff in 34 countries.

Overall sales hit SFr1.2 billion (£824.2m) in 2012, with pre-tax profits of SFr157.1m. The firm acquired the UK business from Unilever in 1984.