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Material | August 02, 2006

Cookson Revenue up 14%

Cookson International has released its interim report for 2006. Revenue of £819 million up 14%. Trading profit of £72 million up 27%. Cookson also plans to close more plants in the UK and to open a new plant in Poland.
Revenue from continuing operations for the first six months of 2006 was up 14%, driven by continuing growth in the main end-markets of worldwide steel production and consumer electronics, together with some improvement in the US precious metals market. Trading profit from continuing operations increased 27% over the comparable period last year. This improvement reflects the benefits of the restructuring and investment programmes initiated over the past two years.

“In line with our strategic plan and previous guidance, we will be implementing further restructuring and investment projects over the next eighteen months. Today, we are announcing the building of additional Ceramics production capacity in Poland and the proposed restructuring of this division's operations in the UK” Nick Salmon, Chief Executive said.

“We expect the positive market trends to continue into the second half of 2006 while
noting that the second half of 2005 was markedly stronger than the first half, setting a
tougher comparative benchmark for the second half of 2006”, Nick Salmon said.

In Europe Improved market conditions resulted in a 2% growth in revenue at constant exchange rates to £152 million compared to the first half of 2005. Following a strategic review of the UK operations, the carbon block business, located in Bawtry (South Yorkshire) was sold in June 2006. The magnesia carbon brick business, located in Worksop (Nottinghamshire), is currently experiencing very weak trading conditions. Subject to employee consultation, Cookson plan to close this facility by the end of 2006. The company also plan, subject to employee consultation, to close the slidegate operation in Goole (East Yorkshire) by mid-2007, in light of the planned expansion of the slide-gate capacity at the facility in Skawina, Poland based on the newer resin bonded alumina technology. As a result of these initiatives, it is also intended to downsize the Ceramics division's UK headquarters based in Barlborough (Derbyshire).

Click here to download the full report (PDF).
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