Aug 2 Vesuvius Plc, a maker of ceramic
moulds and lining for steelmakers and foundries, reported an 11
percent fall in first-half profit reflecting the weaker
conditions year-on-year in the global steel and foundry markets.
The company said activity levels in September, when major
steel and foundry customers in Europe usually resume operations
after summer shutdowns, would be an important driver of
performance for the rest of the year.
The company - formed in December when Cookson Group split
into two companies - reported a trading profit of 71 million
pounds (about $108 million), down from 80 million pounds a year
Revenue fell 5.6 percent to 773 million pounds in the six
months ended June 30. Steel division revenue fell 3.2 percent to
514 million pounds.
Steel production fell 5.4 percent in its key North American
market in the first half of the year, while it dipped 3.9
percent in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Europe and North America account for 70 percent of Vesuvius'
Steel division revenue.
The company had earlier this year announced plans to cut 850
jobs, or 8 percent of its workforce and warned that revenue
would fall in 2013.
Vesuvius, which has been focusing on its core steel and
foundry markets, sold its precious metals processing business
that recycles and provides semi-finished gold, silver and
platinum to the jewellery industry, for 56.8 million euros last
The company has also exited its solar crucibles business.
Vesuvius said on Friday that it had sold a small, low-margin
refractory installation business in Canada after the end of the
first half. The unit generated revenue of 9.5 million pounds in
the first half of the year.