Investors in Midlands industrial group Haden MacLellan were disappointed again last week as the company warned of continued hard times ahead.
The company has already issued two profit warnings in the past six months, and said conditions in its key markets remained tough.
Chairman Roger Leverton, speaking after the annual meeting, said although HM’s fasteners business, which supplies a cross-section of industrial customers, had performed well, the process engineering division, which specialises in paint shops for car makers, was operating at a loss.
The company said the strength of sterling has also reduced its profitability.
Leverton said costs had been cut and, with recent contract wins biased towards the second half, he expected an improvement in profitability this year.
Analysts at Charterhouse Securities recently described Haden MacLellan’s chances of remaining independent this year as `at best 30-40%’.