Umeco chief sees sales hit due to lower demand

SUPPORT SERVICES<br />UMECO, the group which provides parts for wind turbine blades, Formula One team cars and big commercial airplane makers, said yesterday its half-year profits slumped.<br /><br />Pre-tax profits hit &pound;6.1m for the six months to end of September, down from &pound;11.6m in the same period last year, as its composites arm was hit. <br /><br />Chief executive Clive Snowdon said the group had saved &pound;3m due to its cost cutting programme, and added he was seeing &ldquo;definite signs of recovery&rdquo;.<br /><br />Snowdon added that sales were down because wind turbine makers couldn&rsquo;t get project financing, motor sport teams put orders off and demand for its materials from business jet makers fell following a slump in demand for the jets themselves. <br /><br />He reiterated he was confident about the long-term outlook for the firm, which also supplies parts for engine maker Rolls-Royce, but that market conditions remained tough.