- UPVC products maker Eurocell said it intended to resume dividends next year after swinging to a loss in the first half of the year as the pandemic impact pressured revenue to fall by nearly third.

For the six months ended 30 June, the company reported a pre-tax loss of £16.5m compared with a profit of £10.4m on-year as revenue fell 31% to £93.6m.

The loss also included an impairment charge of £5.8m

Gross margin fell 430 basis points, reflecting 'reduced production volumes and therefore lower recovery of direct costs,' the company said.

The company, however, said that it had seen better-than-expected performance in the post-lockdown period, with like-for-like sales up 12% in July/August on prior-year period.

'Since re-opening, sales have exceeded our initial expectations, particularly in the branch network, and we have been encouraged by recent market trends. We are pleased that operating efficiencies have been better and that gross margins are improving as volumes increase,' the company said.

'Whilst the current levels of uncertainty mean it is difficult to predict the outcome for the full year and beyond, we are pleased that the second half has started strongly. We continue to see good potential to outperform our markets and it is our intention to return to paying dividends in 2021.'

At 9:01am: [LON:ECEL] Eurocell Plc share price was +2.5p at 190p

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