- Plastics producer Victrex reported a 7% fall in first-half profit, as margins were pressured, and said it expected a weaker second half.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through March declined to £46.6. million, down from £49.9 million year-on-year, as revenue fell 0.4% to £150.9 million.

Victrex declared an interim dividend of 13.42p share, compared to no payout a year earlier, while stating that its dividends had returned to pre-Covid levels.

Sales volumes rose 5% to 2,087 tonnes, but gross margin contracted 340 basis points to 53.9%, reflecting a softer sales mix due to a strong performance in the medical division.

'The first half reflects an improving momentum across several end-markets, but also some restocking within supply chains,' chief executive Jakob Sigurdsson said.

'Consequently, our assumptions are that full-year profits will be weighted to the first half.

Sigurdsson said said the company's focus for the second half would be to maintain good momentum, although medical was likely to see a more gradual improvement until elective procedures returned in greater numbers.

'Whilst there may yet be upside to our anticipated full-year performance, with the continued impact of post-Brexit inventory unwind on fixed cost recovery, and accrual for our All-Employee-Bonus scheme, at this stage we remain comfortable with current full-year expectations,' he said.

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