Cookson returns to buying trail

Materials and engineering group Cookson last week predicted signs of hope in its core markets and announced plans to return to the acquisitions trail this year. The company said it had about £400m to spend on deals in its electronics, ceramics and precious metals businesses. It reported a 15% decline in pre-exceptional profits to £151m, […]

Materials and engineering group Cookson last week predicted signs of hope in its core markets and announced plans to return to the acquisitions trail this year.

The company said it had about £400m to spend on deals in its electronics, ceramics and precious metals businesses.

It reported a 15% decline in pre-exceptional profits to £151m, in line with previous trading statements.

The electronics division profits fell 19% to £58.2m, while ceramics grew 18% to £54.2m. The electronics downturn was largely due to a fall in demand from Asia.

Despite this, chief executive Stephen Howard said the greatest potential for acquisitions was in Asia and the Pacific Rim. But he also identified the US electronics market as an area for deals.