Testing times for Tomkins

Tomkins, the London-based engineering group, has warned that its 2008 performance will be at the bottom end of expectations following the economic downturn.

According to the company, end markets had worsened considerably since its last update with next year expected to present further challenges to growth.

A strong performance in the agricultural equipment markets and a good growth in the Gates Engineering and Services business were not enough to offset the weakening markets of other industrial sectors.

Global automotive original equipment markets had weakened, with North American, European and Asian markets also starting to decline rapidly.

Tomkins said it has a strong financing position with unsecured bonds totalling £400m, of which £150m matures in December 2011 and £250m matures in September 2015.

The group will extend its cost cutting plans and said its three-year performance improvement programme, Project Eagle, is on track.