Euro membership inevitable, says Precoat chief

Steel processor Precoat International last week called for the UK to join the single currency, claiming that signing up was not only highly desirable but ‘certainly inevitable’. Speaking after unveiling half-time results, chairman Ian Williams said that unfavourable exchange rates continued to affect the company, with the pound still overvalued. But he saw signs of […]

Steel processor Precoat International last week called for the UK to join the single currency, claiming that signing up was not only highly desirable but ‘certainly inevitable’.

Speaking after unveiling half-time results, chairman Ian Williams said that unfavourable exchange rates continued to affect the company, with the pound still overvalued. But he saw signs of this easing.

‘I think UK membership of the single currency is pretty close to essential for us,’ Williams added.

However, he said that Precoat would continue to buy the bulk of its raw material from British Steel despite the availability of cheaper imported steel.

The company, which provides pre-coated steel to white goods makers such as Candy, Hoover and Hotpoint, said the strength of sterling means foreign steel was cheaper to obtain.

But Williams said that just a handful of European steel producers could meet the quality standard required by appliance manufacturers.

He announced a 1% growth in profits to £1.96m from sales of £32.6m. The small increase reflected a 24% rise in administrative costs following the acquisition of steel processor Strata-Color last February.

Williams said acquisitions remained a key part of Precoat’s agenda. The company is in discussions with two or three metals businesses, he said.