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Low & Bonar expects to hit targets

Industrial textiles group Low & Bonar has signalled it had a strong second half of its financial year and expects to hit annual targets.

In an update to the stock market, the business, which has a registered office in Dundee but has its headquarters in London, said sales for the six months to November 30 were likely to be 5% ahead on a like-for-like and constant currency basis.

Adding in a £3 million contribution from Slovakian civil engineering supplier Texiplast, which Low & Bonar paid £16m for in September, sales were 6% up.

The company, which has interests in sectors ranging from agriculture to construction and transport, said: "The much improved second-half performance has resulted in full-year constant currency sales growth of circa 3%."

It added that annual pre-tax profits were on course to meet market expectations.

It its previous financial year, Low & Bonar's yarns division, which employs around 120 people in Dundee, contributed to pre-tax profits dropping from £23.4m to £6.1m.

The carpet-backing and artificial grass-making yarns arm posted an operating loss of £1.8m in the 12 months to November 30, 2012.

The company also took an £11.2m impairment charge on the division.

Total revenue in that year was £380.5m.

The yarns business had returned to profit in the six months to May 31 this year. However, interim profits were down from £6.3m to £4m with that result blamed on poor weather conditions in several markets.

Shares closed yesterday down 1.75p, or 2.3%, at 74.5p.

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