Portmeirion Group says US trading conditions have been difficult.
Stoke-on-Trent-based Portmeirion produces tableware, cookware and giftware. The shares dived by 45p to 175p on the trading statement. That values the company at £17.3m.
Weak US sales and higher fuel costs mean that profits for the six months to June 2008 will be below expectations even though sales have risen by 5.6%.
The interim dividend will be maintained at 3.55p a share. Last year’s total dividend of 14.7p a share was covered more than twice by earnings but they included a net £1m property disposal gain. An unchanged final dividend would leave the shares yielding 8.4%. There is no guarantee that the final will be maintained, though.
Sales outside of the US remain in line with expectations but management is cautious about second half sales in the UK. Management believe that full year results will be below expectations.
Portmeirion had been expected to make £3.6m profit on turnover of £33m. There was cash of £2.7m in the balance sheet at the end of 2007. There was also a pension deficit of £2.5m. Even if intangibles assets are excluded, Portmeirion’s net asset value was £20m at the end of 2007.
The interim results will be announced tomorrow (8 August).
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