Production problems hit Spirax-Sarco profits

Steam systems company Spirax-Sarco Engineering blamed production problems in the US for a sharp fall in half-year profits. The company reported trading profits down 5% to £18.5m with turnover just 1% ahead on a like-for-like basis. Chairman Tim Fortune said the company was planning to boost its market presence with the release of a number […]

Steam systems company Spirax-Sarco Engineering blamed production problems in the US for a sharp fall in half-year profits.

The company reported trading profits down 5% to £18.5m with turnover just 1% ahead on a like-for-like basis.

Chairman Tim Fortune said the company was planning to boost its market presence with the release of a number of new products.

But he admitted that the relocation of production facilities to South Carolina had proved more difficult than anticipated `as fewer people from the workforce were prepared to move than we expected and some of the machinery didn’t like the move either’.

The production hold-ups will result in costs over and above the £11.4m hit declared in the 1998 results, he said.

`We are continuing to work to restore customer service levels in the US,’ Fortune added.

European business had also been slower than expected but new products are expected to change the full-year picture for the better. `There is a lot of potential for increasing market share in the US, German and Japanese markets,’ he said.

Shares in the company dropped on the results, falling from a year’s high of 654p to 600p, wiping about £50m off the group’s stock market value.

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