Declining demand for steel

Materials handling specialist Clyde Process Solutions has reported a £4.4m loss in orders, owing in part to delayed contracts as a result of falling demand for steel in Europe.

In a pre-close trading update, the Doncaster-based company said that its order book at the end of January was at £23.5m, compared with £27.9m in the same period last year.

The company attributed the loss to challenging trading conditions and a decline in demand for steel within Europe – a situation that is expected to improve in 2010.

However, the company said that it is confident of performing well in the year ahead with increased demand for energy-efficient production processes driving interest from producers in North America and South Africa – areas where the group has won more than £11m in orders in the last three weeks.

The company’s subsidiaries, MAC Equipment and Clyde Materials Handling, have also secured a £9.3m contract through their combined pneumatic conveying expertise.

Commenting on the results, Alex Stewart, chief executive of the group, said: ‘Although the period has been challenging, we are confident that our strategic diversity across key customer markets and geographical territories will enable us to deliver long-term growth.’

‘As we enter our new financial year, our focus as a group is to implement global strategies that generate significant customer contact, so that we can continue to develop innovative solutions that meet our customers’ energy and environmental requirements and contribute to the future success of our business,’ he added.