Foam firm predicts lower profits

Rising raw material prices today led foam maker British Vita to warn that profits would be slightly below the £50.7m (€73.3m) reported for 2003.

Rising raw material prices today led foam maker British Vita to warn that profits would be slightly below the £50.7m (€73.3m) reported for 2003.

British Vita owns a 50% interest in the Irish operations of Vita Cortex holdings plc, which is based in Cork and operates seven facilities in Ireland.

The Manchester-based group said cost pressures had been more severe than it expected since June, mainly driven by an increase in the oil price, which hit record levels in October.

British Vita makes polystyrene, latex and foam used in a range of everyday items from office chairs and mattresses to surgical gloves, nappies and ski suits.

It employs around 9,000 staff worldwide and has UK plants in locations such as Manchester, High Wycombe, Corby and Chelmsford.

In a trading statement today, British Vita said the price of resins was currently higher than at any time in history and supplies were tight.

Growth in volumes across its divisions had “slowed somewhat” from the 5% achieved in the first half of the year.

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