Cookson issues profit warning

COOKSON, the industrial materials group, yesterday issued a profits warning after its ceramics division was hit by the sharp slowdown in steel production.

The firm's shares closed down 24.4 per cent, or 42p, at 130p after Cookson said this year's performance was likely to be below previous expectations.

Cookson said its overall result was still likely to be significantly ahead of 2007 thanks to the weakening of sterling and its acquisition of Foseco, a foundry supplier.