- Molten metal flow engineering group Vesuvius saw an 18.4% decline in revenues in the first half of 2020 hit by significantly lower global steel production and industrial output across the world.

In its interim results for the first half of 2020, it reported revenue of £720m, down 18.4% on an underlying basis.

The group saw trading profit fall 48.7% on an underlying basis to £51.1m and a return-on-sales of 7.1%, supported by restructuring, as well as Covid-19 crisis-related savings of £18.6m delivered in the second quarter.

Profits were lower across the board, with operating profit down 52.2% year on year to £39.8m, while headline pre-tax profit fell 50.8% year to year to £45.9m.

Vesuvius announced a strong cash conversion rate of 139% during the period, which it said demonstrated its ability to generate cash through the cycle, with £22.4m of cash released from working capital in Q2 as a result of efficient management of inventories and receivables.

Chief executive Patrick Andre said: 'Our quick and decisive implementation of Covid-related cost savings measures, in addition to the planned delivery of the recurring savings from our restructuring programme, allowed us to limit the negative impact of the pandemic on our results.

'Looking forward, the first signs of improvement are now apparent in both steel and foundry, but we expect the pace of a recovery to be slow over the coming months.'

At 8:39am: [LON:VSVS] Vesuvius PLC share price was +10.6p at 390.2p

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