* Full-year revenue down 5 pct to 1.05 bln stg
* Underlying pretax profit down 5 pct to 90.1 mln stg
* Shares fall as much 2 pct
By Karen Rebelo
Feb 28 British chemical maker Synthomer Plc's
full-year underlying profit fell nearly 5 percent,
weighed down by anaemic demand across European construction
The company, which supplies specialty emulsion polymers used
in construction, textiles, paper and latex gloves, said it
started 2014 with a slight drop in unit cash margins from the
2013 average at its Europe and North America (ENA) business.
Synthomer shares fell as much as 2.2 percent in early
trading on Friday.
Sales at ENA, which accounts for more than 70 percent of
Synthomer's revenue, fell about 6 percent to 744.8 million
pounds ($1.24 billion) in the year ended Dec. 31.
Demand was weak in southern Europe, Chief Executive Adrian
Whitfield told Reuters.
Synthomer, however, has more exposure in northern Europe.
Underlying pretax profit fell to 90.1 million pounds
($150.21 million) from 94.6 million pounds. Revenue decreased by
more than 5 percent to 1.05 billion pounds.
Analysts on average expected the company to report a pretax
profit of 90.7 million pounds on revenue of 1.07 billion pounds,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Synthomer said underlying operating profit at its Asia
business jumped 21 percent, driven by a continued recovery at
the company's nitrile business there.
"The underlying trend that is driving that is the increasing
awareness in terms of hygiene and personal protection,"
"We expect that business area to continue to grow strongly."
Nitrile is a speciality chemical used in making latex - a
very fine quality of rubber.
Synthomer, formerly known as Yule Catto & Co, said it
planned to cut costs at its European business by about 10
million euros ($13.68 million).
The company raised its final dividend to 3.6 pence per share
from 3.3 pence a year earlier.
"The apparent delay in decisive recovery in Europe is likely
to be a drag on the shares in the immediate near-term,"
Canaccord Genuity analyst Paul Satchell wrote in a note, while
cutting his target price on the stock to 288 pence from 302
Shares in Harlow, UK-headquartered Synthomer were marginally
down at 260.2 pence at 0932 GMT on the London Stock Exchange on
Friday. They fell to a low of 253.9 pence earlier.