- Coats Group's pre-tax profits slipped Friday as lower demand for zips dented apparel and footwear revenue.

For the 12 months ended December 31, pre-tax profit fell to $122.8m from $129.5m a year earlier and revenue grew 4% to $1.41bn.

Profits were weighed down by an increased exceptional costs of $48m in relation to 'Connecting for Growth, the UK guaranteed minimum pension equalisation, and Lower Passaic River legal costs,' the company said.

The benefits from turnaround programme, connecting for growth, was being realised faster than initially anticipated, with $15m net benefits delivered in 2018, the company said.

Apparel and Footwear, which made up the bulk of total revenue, generated revenue of $1.08bn, largely unchanged from last year. Growth in the segment was impacted by 'slower demand for zips due to certain in year fashion trends, and a 15% decline in Latin America Craft sales,' the company said.

The full year dividend per share was increased by 15% to 1.66 cents. 'We enter 2019 in a strong position, with continued positive momentum in our core Apparel and Footwear and hi-tech Performance Materials businesses,' said Rajiv Sharma, Group Chief Executive. 'The exit of our non-core North American Crafts business will ensure complete focus on growing our remaining businesses organically and identifying further value-add bolt-on acquisitions.'

At 9:06am: [LON:COA] Coats Group Plc share price was -4.75p at 83.85p

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