The strong pound and the fall-out from Asia wiped about £10.5m off the bottom line at engineering products group Delta in the first half.
Delta revealed a steep downturn in pre-tax profits, at £23.2m, in the six months to 4 July, against £33.1m for the previous half year.
Chief executive Jon Scott-Maxwell said the Asian effect had come so suddenly that it was more relevant to compare the figures with the second half of 1997, when pre-tax profits reached £26m. ‘We have to fight back and overcome these difficulties,’ he said.
He added that the group would spend £4m on restructuring this year, with centralisation of the group’s five UK division businesses costing 130 jobs. The electrical division will shed another 130 jobs in Europe this year.
In June, Delta exchanged its utility cables business for BICC’s building wire operations. It also added AMCL to its core galvanising and electrolytic manganese businesses. Delta spent £5.8m raising its stake in South Africa-based Delta Electrical and bought Dutch switch maker Holec for £105m.