REG - Cropper(James) PLC - Annual General Meeting and Trading Update

Wed Aug 1, 2012 6:00am EDT

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RNS Number : 0282J
Cropper(James) PLC
01 August 2012
 



1 August 2012

James Cropper PLC

 

Annual General Meeting and Trading Update

 

At the AGM held at 11.00am today, Mark Cropper, Chairman, made the following statement:

 

"I am pleased to report that the Group has traded profitably in the first quarter of the new financial year."

 

"Technical Fibre Products Limited ("TFP") opened strongly, most notably in the Aerospace, Defence and Energy sectors. Overall sales were up 23% on the comparable period last year, with sales into the USA up 40%. As the first step in consolidating our US facilities, the Cincinnati operation was closed in April 2012 and has now been relocated to our new facility in Schenectady, New York State."

 

"James Cropper Converting ("Converting") traded ahead of the first quarter of last year. Sales were up 19% due to a recovery in sales volumes into the Art & Framing and Sign & Display sectors."

 

"In James Cropper Speciality Papers ("Speciality Papers") total sales in the opening quarter were down 9% on the comparable period. Overall volume was down 11%, with export volumes down 18%. The economic uncertainty, which led to the loss of confidence amongst customers in many export paper markets in the second half of last year, shows no immediate sign of lifting. In the home market we have been successful in winning some business in new areas which has helped to fill the capacity gap."

 

"The cost of Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft ("NBSK") pulp opened at US$840/tonne. Although the cost of the benchmark NBSK pulp fell slightly during the quarter, hardwood pulps have continued to increase in price, moving up by over $100/tonne since January." 

 

"Our plans to reduce the size of the Group's UK workforce by 8% during the course of 2012 are on-track and I am pleased to say that it will not be necessary to make any compulsory redundancies. Once effected, these plans will result in cost savings of approximately £1.0 million on an annualised basis from 2013/14 onwards, with savings of approximately £0.3 million in 2012/13. A full provision relating to redundancy costs of £0.8 million was recognised in the previous financial year."

 

"The recovery of TFP and Converting in the first quarter is very pleasing. In turn, the profitability of Speciality Papers is expected to improve over the coming year as a consequence of recent investments and the restructuring process."   

 

"Despite the troubled economic climate there are a number of significant opportunities within our reach. I am confident that we have the resources and means of seizing these."

 

 

Enquiries:


John Denman, Group Finance Director

Richard Baty, Paul Gillam

James Cropper PLC

Westhouse Securities Limited

Tel: 01539 722002

Tel: 0207 601 6100

www.cropper.com


 


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