This excerpt taken from the ICI 6-K filed Aug 10, 2006.
ICI made a good start to 2006. Group sales for continuing operations were 7% ahead of the first half of 2005 on a comparable basis. Good sales growth benefited from improved volumes and overall our businesses delivered sales growth in all major geographic markets. Progress continued in recovering the impact of higher raw material costs through increased selling prices.
With continued benefits from restructuring programmes, trading profit was ahead of last year on a comparable basis for each of the International Businesses. Group adjusted profit before taxation for continuing operations was £219m, 12% ahead of 2005.
Good control of working capital contributed to better cash flow from operating activities than in the first half of 2005 despite higher payments into pension funds. Net debt at 30 June 2006 was £962m, £194m lower than 12 months earlier.
This excerpt taken from the ICI 6-K filed Aug 11, 2005.
ICI made a solid start to 2005. Good progress in raising selling prices to recover higher raw material costs and tight overall control of costs contributed to increases in both trading profit and profit before tax and special items. This was despite generally weaker economic conditions compared with the first half of 2004.
Group reported sales were 2% ahead of 2004 and, excluding impacts from business divestments and foreign currency translation, comparable sales for the Group were 6% up. The International Businesses delivered strong comparable growth in Asia and Latin America, and 4% growth in North America. Comparable growth in Europe was 2%, in generally subdued markets.
With continued benefits from restructuring programmes, in addition to the successful efforts to raise prices, trading profit was ahead of last year on a comparable basis for each of the International Businesses. After lower net finance expenses, Group profit before tax and special items was £207m, 12% ahead of 2004, and adjusted earnings per share were 12.6p, 10% up.
Net debt at 30 June 2005 was £1,138m, £149m higher than at the start of the year. This increase was mainly due to the seasonal outflow of working capital, which was somewhat higher than last year due to increased sales and a slight deterioration in working capital efficiency. As usual, however, a significant inflow from working capital is expected in the second half.
The Board continues to believe that this approach is appropriate, and therefore confirms that, following the introduction of IFRS, ICIs continued intent will be to grow dividends at about the same rate as the growth in net profit before special items. Consequently, the Board has declared an interim dividend of 3.75p (2004: 3.40p), reflecting the 10% growth in net profit before special items for the first half of 2005.
Regionally, the strategy emphasises development of the Groups businesses in Asia. In the first half of 2005, comparable sales growth of 15% was achieved for the International Businesses in Asia. Overall, comparable sales for businesses which ICI intends to grow aggressively were 10% higher than for the first half of last year.
Delivery of overall cost savings from the restructuring initiatives first announced in 2003 remained on track at the half year. With the cash restructuring cost to deliver these savings being less than originally anticipated, the restructuring programme will now be further extended to reduce costs in the International Businesses. Overall, we now expect to deliver £140m of operating profit benefit in 2007 and reduce headcount by over 2,500 for a total cash investment of £219m.
Reshaping of the portfolio also continued during the first half of 2005. The completion of the sale of National Starchs Vinamul Polymers business was announced in the first quarter and, in July, the Group announced its agreement to acquire the Celanese emulsion powders business for US$25.5m.