600 Group in Elland hit by German and Far East order delays

Machine tool maker 600 Group said it has been experiencing macro-economic and political uncertainties across its end markets which might create some short-term disruption to trading.

The Elland-based firm said order intake for the fourth quarter is now expected to be significantly below originally predicted levels with orders for Germany and the Far East in particular suffering delays heavily influenced by the global automotive slowdown.

There has been good progress in the firm’s UK business, where orders remain over 100 per cent up on the prior year as well as continued good performance at its newly acquired CMS business, driven by its focus on healthcare and pharmaceuticals.

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Gross margins across the group are also holding up well, the firm said.

However, these positive factors will not be enough to make up the shortfall from the likely revenue reduction and as a result, the outturn for the full year is expected to be significantly below the board’s previous expectations.

Despite the short-term end-market weaknesses and macroeconomic uncertainty, the board said it continues to believe in the long-term fundamentals of the business and the strategy in place to de-risk and diversify the business. The board added that it remains optimistic about the long-term future.