Ceramic Industry

Pilkington Profits Boost Ailing Shares

November 6, 2000
Pilkington Plc helped ease concerns over its falling share price recently, beating market forecasts with a 31% rise in first-half earnings. Pre-tax profit before exceptional items rose to 102 million pounds ($147 million), above forecasts of around 96 million pounds, helped by improved glass prices and growth in its building and automotive units. Pilkington, which supplied the glass for Berlin's Bundestag building, said it expected further growth in the second half of the year. The upbeat outlook helped shares rise by 5.1% to close at 91-3/4 pence, valuing the group at around one billion pounds. It has outperformed the FTSE All Share Construction Index by 26% in the last six months. But despite strong trading statements, Pilkington's management has been worried by the decline in its share price since mid-August, when it reached levels around 102p.