- Plastics producer Synthomer booked a 34% fall in first-half profit, owing to weaker economic conditions hurting sales.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through June fell to £56.6m, down from £86.2m on-year.

Revenue fell 8.5% to £762.7m and adjusted profit fell 7.9% to £70.2m.

Synthomer declared an interim dividend of 4.0p per share, up 8.1% on-year.

'Synthomer's performance in the first half has been in line with management's expectations and the prevailing market environment,' chairman Neil Johnson said.

Johnson said the first quarter of 2019 was impacted by 'the general economic downturn', which he said resulted in slower trading, particularly in European latex and functional solutions.

Trading returned to more normalised levels in the second quarter, marginally up on-year.

Johnson said the completion of new low-cost capacity would benefit the company in the second half.

'The group is confident of continued progress in the second half, when we expect to benefit from improved market conditions and the additional capacity coming to market.'

'SBR Latex is expected to remain challenging in Europe but offset by a robust performance in our Nitriles business.'

'As a result, the board's expectations for group full year 2019 remain unchanged.'

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