McBride issues profit warning as sales slide

Kasmira Jefford
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MCBRIDE, Europe’s biggest maker of retailer own-brand cleaning products, yesterday warned that first-half profits will be hit by a sharper than expected dent in sales after the wind- down of its contract manufacturing business.

The firm said trading profit in the year to the end of June 2013 will be about £2m lower than previously anticipated after posting a seven per cent decline in revenues in the first quarter of the year to 14 October.

“As we indicated at the full year, our financial performance this year will be second-half weighted as some contract manufacturing business is wound down, allowing us to grow our Private Label business in the second half and beyond,” chief executive Chris Ball told shareholders at the firm’s annual general meeting.

“Although our contract manufacturing business has declined more rapidly than expected in the first half, I remain very encouraged by the progress being made by the business overall,” he added.

Panmure Gordon analysts downgraded their profit before tax forecasts by £2m to £26.8m but said they remained encouraged by the group’s private label business, which performed in line with expectations.

McBride, which supplies companies such as Tesco and Carrefour with goods ranging from dishwasher tablets to deodorant, is stepping back from contract manufacturing as an increasing number of shoppers opt to buy supermarkets’ own-brand label products, denting consumer demand for other brands.