- Plastics company Victrex booked a 21% fall in first-half profit, owing to weakness its automotive and consumer electronics divisions.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through March fell to £50.2m, down from £63.3m on-year.

Revenue fell 12% to £145.7m amid a 16% slide in sales volumes to 1,899 tonnes.

Victrex held its interim dividend steady at 13.42p per share.

'As expected, Victrex saw a much weaker first half year, driven principally by automotive, the associated impact on value added resellers, the expected headwinds in consumer electronics, together with the impact of adverse currency, cost inflation and investment phasing,' chief executive Jakob Sigurdsson said.

'Our second quarter showed some signs of improvement, with Automotive starting to stabilise.'

'We also saw a continuation of the improving trend in medical, where revenues were ahead for the first half, including growth in our HA-Enhanced product.'

'Actions taken to improve manufacturing efficiency and reduce cost also started to take effect.'

'Looking towards the second half, headwinds in the form of currency and cost inflation will be broadly neutral, and incremental operating investment will be limited.'

'We will also benefit from no bonus accrual. However, with some of our key industrial markets remaining weak, our base assumption is that any improvement would be gradual and back end weighted.'

'Overall, our expectations are that it will now be challenging to achieve year-on-year growth in the second half, compared to the prior year period.'

'We remain well placed for the medium to long term, with strong structural growth opportunities, a healthy new product pipeline and a highly cash generative business model.'

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