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Profit warning from William Sinclair

Published: 28 July 2008
William Sinclair Holdings has issued a trading statement in which it has downgraded profit expectations for the 15-month period to September 2008.
In its nine-month statement to March 31 2008, the company announced that the business was facing a challenging market and that demand for its peat-based and non-peat-based growing media and fertiliser products during the 2008 growing season had been lower than expected.

Things have not improved, and in the announcement issued this week the company said there had been two principal developments that had affected its performance since then.

It said: "The company has continued to see significantly escalating costs from a number of its suppliers, particularly in the areas of packaging and products such as fertilisers and oil. Furthermore, certain suppliers have increased prices beyond those provided for in established price agreements."

Secondly, it continued, "the peat harvest in late June and the first half of July was very poor due to the adverse weather conditions at that time."

Chief executive Bernard Burns was quick to point out that sales were actually stronger than the equivalent period last year. Nonetheless the company "now expects profits in the 15-month period to September 30 2008 to be significantly lower than market expectations."

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