ICI glosses over profits dip

Results posted today by the chemicals giant ICI have revealed that third-quarter profits have dipped by 13%.

However, ICI, which declared profits of £105 million, down 13% on the same period in 2002, posted better results than were anticipated by many market analysts.

Across its various chemicals portfolios, ICI's group sales for the quarter were 4% lower than 2002, though net debt at quarter end was reduced to £1,641 million, down from £2,135 million in 2002.

ICI Chief Executive, John McAdam, said: “Good overall cost control provided some profit protection in another difficult quarter, where trading conditions were particularly challenging in Europe and North America.

"Whilst recent indications of an improving US economy provide some encouragement, the outlook for Q4 remains uncertain.”

In a strategy statement released subsequently, ICI said it could "deliver substantial performance improvement from its existing business, focusing on performance transformation rather than portfolio transformation".

ICI, which employs around 5,000 people in the UK, restated that it believed any major divestments were "unattractive" at present.

The company, which has made cuts of around 2,000 in its workforce this year in a restructuring effort to drive up profits, made no announcements of any further job cuts.


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