Financial Express (Holdings) Limited (“we”, “our”, “us” and derivatives) are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. This Privacy Policy, together with our Terms of Use, sets out the basis on which any personal data that we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by us relating to your use of any of the below websites (“sites”).


For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998, the data controller is Trustnet Limited of 2nd Floor, Golden House, 30 Great Pulteney Street, London, W1F 9NN. Our nominated representative for the purpose of this Act is Kirsty Witter.


We collect information about you when you register with us or use any of our websites / services. Part of the registration process may include entering personal details & details of your investments.

We may collect information about your computer, including where available your operating system, browser version, domain name and IP address and details of the website that you came from, in order to improve this site.

You confirm that all information you supply is accurate.


In order to provide personalised services to and analyse site traffic, we may use a cookie file which is stored on your browser or the hard drive of your computer. Some of the cookies we use are essential for the sites to operate and may be used to deliver you different content, depending on the type of investor you are.

You can block cookies by activating the setting on your browser which allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or part of our sites. Unless you have adjusted your browser setting so that it will refuse cookies, our system will issue cookies as soon as you visit our sites.


We store and use information you provide as follows:

  • to present content effectively;
  • to provide you with information, products or services that you request from us or which may interest you, tailored to your specific interests, where you have consented to be contacted for such purposes;
  • to carry out our obligations arising from any contracts between you and us;
  • to enable you to participate in interactive features of our service, when you choose to do so;
  • to notify you about changes to our service;
  • to improve our content by tracking group information that describes the habits, usage, patterns and demographics of our customers.

We may also send you emails to provide information and keep you up to date with developments on our sites. It is our policy to have instructions on how to unsubscribe so that you will not receive any future e-mails. You can change your e-mail address at any time.

In order to provide support on the usage of our tools, our support team need access to all information provided in relation to the tool.

We will not disclose your name, email address or postal address or any data that could identify you to any third party without first receiving your permission.

However, you agree that we may disclose to any regulatory authority to which we are subject and to any investment exchange on which we may deal or to its related clearing house (or to investigators, inspectors or agents appointed by them), or to any person empowered to require such information by or under any legal enactment, any information they may request or require relating to you, or if relevant, any of your clients.

You agree that we may pass on information obtained under Money Laundering legislation as we consider necessary to comply with reporting requirements under such legislation.


We want to ensure that the personal information we hold about you is accurate and up to date. You may ask us to correct or remove information that is inaccurate.

You have the right under data protection legislation to access information held about you. If you wish to receive a copy of any personal information we hold, please write to us at 3rd Floor, Hollywood House, Church Street East, Woking, GU21 6HJ. Any access request may be subject to a fee of £10 to meet our costs in providing you with details of the information we hold about you.


The data that we collect from you may be transferred to, and stored at, a destination outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”). It may be processed by staff operating outside the EEA who work for us or for one of our suppliers. Such staff may be engaged in, amongst other things, the provision of support services. By submitting your personal data, you agree to this transfer, storing and processing. We will take all steps reasonably necessary, including the use of encryption, to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this privacy policy.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our sites; any transmission is at your own risk. You will not hold us responsible for any breach of security unless we have been negligent or in wilful default.


Any changes we make to our privacy policy in the future will be posted on this page and, where appropriate, notified to you by e-mail.


Our sites contain links to other websites. If you follow a link to any of these websites, please note that these websites have their own privacy policies and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these policies. Please check these policies before you submit any personal data to these websites.


If you want more information or have any questions or comments relating to our privacy policy please email in the first instance.

 Information  X 
Enter a valid email address


  Print      Mail a friend

Tuesday 18 December, 2001


Trading Update

18 December 2001

18 December 2001

                                TRADING UPDATE

As notified in the interim results announcement issued on 10 September, IMI
plc is today issuing a trading update in advance of the preliminary results
announcement for the twelve months ending 31 December 2001, due to be
published in March 2002.


In our interim report we said that the trading environment in the second half
of the year would be challenging. Since then economic conditions have
deteriorated, with the events of 11 September prolonging the downturn in the
US, and European markets continuing the decline first noted in June.

Against this economic backdrop, our businesses have responded well, with new
products offsetting some of the market weakness, and cost reductions
implemented throughout the course of the year mitigating some of the margin
impact. Volumes in the second half are expected to be around 5% down on last
year. Profit before rationalisation costs, goodwill amortisation, exceptional
items and tax for the full year should be around £125m, in line with market

Having concluded and reported on the outcome of our strategic review in
September, we are pleased to say that execution is making good progress.

In our platform businesses in Fluid Controls and Retail Dispense, our focus
has been on the restructuring programmes required to achieve the significant
repositioning announced. We still expect the cost of this repositioning to be
around £60m spread over two years. As previously indicated, the cost in 2001
will be around £40m.

Our other businesses, following the disposal of the smaller companies
previously in Energy Controls, are now largely in the field of Building
Products. Our focus is on the active management of these businesses, looking
to enhance value ahead of disposal. Each of these businesses is performing
well in the current economic conditions, producing good profits and cash. We
have identified specific opportunities to reduce further the cost base,
yielding a cash pay-back of less than 18 months. We are pressing ahead with
these plans at a cost of around £10m, of which £5m will be committed this year
and the balance next year.

With strong internal cash generation financing the restructuring programme we
are not dependent on disposal proceeds and will continue to manage the
disposals agenda in a manner and timeframe consistent with optimising
shareholder returns.

Taking advantage of current long term interest rates, we have refinanced $100m
of short term debt with borrowings maturing in 2009. This, together with
another period of strong operating cash flow has further strengthened the
balance sheet.

With regard to the introduction of FRS17 (Retirement Benefits) the Group
operates a number of pension plans throughout the world, both defined benefit
and defined contribution schemes. The major defined benefit scheme, which is
in the UK, is expected to be in surplus at the end of December 2001.


Fluid Controls

Our Severe Service valves business continues to perform well, maintaining its
15% year on year volume growth from the first half. With the long term
prospects for the power generation sector of our market still healthy, and
with increasing success in convincing plant operators to upgrade to higher
technology valve solutions, we are now beginning to

see reward from our continuing programme of investment in specialist sales and
engineering personnel.

Fluid Power remains the most exposed of our businesses to cyclical downturns
in the capital equipment markets. Volumes in the US showed no recovery in the
second half, remaining 20% down over the prior year, whilst volumes in Europe
declined markedly, down nearly 10%, having been ahead for most of the first
half. Excellent progress in our sector initiatives offset some of the general
market disappointment, and, as part of the restructuring programme announced
in March 2001, nearly 20% of our overhead is being cut by the release of 600
employees. Whilst still operating in a difficult market, our automotive
tooling subsidiary, ISI, continued to recover and recorded its first
profitable quarter for some time.

Indoor Climate volumes for the second half are around 10% lower than last
year, with continuing weakness in the German construction market and slowing
demand in the rest of Europe. Despite the volume reduction margins remain

Retail Dispense

A strong performance in Beverage Dispense was interrupted in September by a
dramatic reduction in restaurant traffic in the US. Although the sales lost
will not be recovered, the underlying trading pattern returned by mid-October.
Further evidence of the success of our new product investment programmes was
provided in the second half with the award of a £25m contract for the supply
of a sophisticated new frozen drinks dispenser to a leading US convenience
store chain. This programme will run throughout next year. Closure of two of
our major factories in the US was announced and the transfer of production to
a new facility in Mexico came onstream in October. At the same time we doubled
output from our existing facility in China. We expect over 35% of the US
capacity to have been moved to Mexico and China by the middle of next year.

Our Point of Purchase (PoP) business suffered the most from the affects of 11
September, with major retailers and brand owners cutting promotions
expenditure in response to concerns over the outlook for consumer spending in
the US. Scheduled merchandising programmes were affected with many being
postponed into the new year, resulting in the first reversal in PoP volumes in
nearly ten years. We are now beginning to see signs of programme releases,
with retailers recognising that PoP expenditure, with its immediate and direct
impact on impulse sales, is particularly cost-effective given a limited
advertising budget.

Building Products

Polypipe volumes recovered the first half shortfall, with access to major road
and agricultural programmes back to normal after the difficulties of poor
weather and foot & mouth earlier in the year. The pipes business, the largest
single part of Polypipe, continued to perform well, registering a strong
performance in both profits and cash. Downsizing and a plant closure was
required in the small European businesses, which continued to struggle.

Copper tube and fittings held up well in the UK, but volumes and margins in
Europe suffered with the German market, in particular, continuing to
disappoint. We have recently announced a proposal for the major restructuring
of the copper fittings business which will see the closure of our German
manufacturing plant, some capacity relocation to Hungary, and increased focus
on higher margin sales.


We are not anticipating any improvement in general market conditions for some
time and we enter 2002 with a cost base geared accordingly. We are making
excellent progress with the repositioning of our platform businesses and are
confident that they will generate considerably higher growth in the longer

                                   - Ends -

For further information contact:

IMI plc
Graham Truscott, Communications Director               Tel: 0121 332 2220

Weber Shandwick Square Mile
Ben Padovan / Peter Corbin                             Tel: 020 7329 0096