Cumbria paper specialist suffers interim profits set-back

James cropper

Cumbria-based paper products specialist James Cropper reported a 39% fall in pre-tax profits for its interim period, despite recording a 6% increase in sales.

Turnover for the six months to September 30 rose 6% to £50.3m.

However, profits before tax of £1.4m compared with £2.3m the previous year, but chairman Mark Cropper said the full year trading expectation remains unchanged.

Chairman Mark Cropper said: “TFP (technical fibre products) has delivered its best ever sales performance for a half year and is set to continue growth in the second half.”

The division saw sales figures grow by 7% in the half year period.

Mr Cropper added: “Plans are in place for additional TFP non-woven capability increasing capacity by 50% by the end of the 2020 calendar year.

“Paper sales have grown by 6% compared to the prior period comparative, but with pulp prices projected to add an additional £3.5m of costs compared to the prior year, our paper business is severely impacted.

“3DP Colourformä is making progress with commercial projects, confirming the potential for this new business.

“Plans are in place to expand capacity by a further 50% for this division by early 2019.”

He added: “Within the group we continue to invest significantly in people, innovation and capability.

“This will ensure that over the long term the group has the potential to sustain growth across all its businesses.

“In the nearer term, expectations for the full year remain unchanged from the previous trading update.”