Tomkins shares tumble at tough US markets warning

Shares in diversified industrial group Tomkins fell on Monday after it warned that tougher automotive markets in the US could affect future growth. Chairman Greg Hutchings said it was unlikely that growth in earnings per share this year will match last year’s. Tomkins, which relisted as an engineering stock, saw its share price drop 13p […]

Shares in diversified industrial group Tomkins fell on Monday after it warned that tougher automotive markets in the US could affect future growth.

Chairman Greg Hutchings said it was unlikely that growth in earnings per share this year will match last year’s. Tomkins, which relisted as an engineering stock, saw its share price drop 13p to 228p on the news.

Hutchings said the downturn in the US meant that the group would continue to focus on driving down costs. Its automotive interests include Gates and Stant, maker of windscreen wipers and engine timing belts.

Interim results, however, were in line with forecast. Pre-exceptional profits of £220.1m were up 2.4%, though the group also took a £40m hit to cover the expected loss on the sale of four flour mills.

The sell-off was forced on Tomkins by former Trade and Industry secretary Peter Mandelson following the company’s acquisition of six other mills from Kerry Group last year.

The figures also revealed the full cost of last year’s General Motors strike. Tomkins said it cost $4 5m (£2.4 3m) in lost profit.