Electronics outpaces other sectors to grow Cookson’s profits by 43%

BOOMING demand for electronic goods helped Cookson to an impressive 43% rise in profits for the first half of 2000.

The group recorded growth in each of its three divisions – ceramics, precious metals and electronics – but it was the latter that set the hottest pace.

Fuelled by consumer demand for mobile phones and other devices – and further helped by acquisitions – the electronics division’s sales raced 69% ahead of the same period in 1999, with operating profit up 126%.

Cookson’s chief executive Stephen Howard said that as well as benefitting from current trading conditions, the performance reflected the fact that the group restructure that began 18 months ago is now almost complete.

The group focused heavily on its three core areas, and disposed of several operations which fell outside its strategy.

Cookson is also focusing on e-commerce to enhance its position, and several initiatives announced earlier this year are progressing well, Howard said.

He expected an even stronger performance in the second half of the year: `The momentum generated by the electronics industry should be maintained. Global steel production is expected to remain at current levels, and the prospect for the precious metal division’s markets are sound.’

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