Super cars shed favourable light on Carclo

TECHNICAL plastics group Carclo said specialist lighting products for top-of-the range cars will contribute to "much stronger" trading in the second half.

The Ossett-based company provides lighting for super cars such as Lamborghini, Porsche, Lotus and the Bugatti Veyron.

Carclo's finance director, Robert Brooksbank, said the pick-up follows delays on a couple of super car programmes which have since been signed off.

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"That will make the second half much stronger," he said.

The group said the new financial year has started well, particularly in technical plastics.

Mr Brooksbank said this follows a recovery in the US where the group is seeing stronger trading.

Volumes in the US medical business recovered strongly and the group said its other operations are all performing well.

The group's aerospace operations have not seen any significant increase in sales yet, although order intake is now rising and Carclo said the businesses are performing satisfactorily.

The group said it has seen good progress at its Conductive Inkjet Technology (CIT) division, which prints "invisible" metal lines on plastic products such as touch screens and medical sensors.

In printed electronics, InkJetFlex sales are now growing and the group recently received production orders for specialised RFID tags.

Last year, Carclo signed a deal worth up to 1.2m with US electronics heavyweight Atmel Corporation.

Atmel, a global leader in design and manufacture of touch screens and microcontrollers, has agreed to minimum annual volume targets for 2011 and 2012 to maintain its preferential access to CIT's production.

Yesterday, Carclo said the touch sensor project with Atmel continues to build momentum.

The complete production line will be installed at CIT's facility in Cambridge by early autumn. Volume production is expected to start in early 2011.

The group expects its trading pattern in this financial year to be similar to last year, with a greater proportion of operating profits generated in the second half than the first.

"The economic environment remains uncertain and yet our businesses are performing well and the group's financial position remains strong," said Mr Brooksbank.

"The group is well placed to enjoy continued growth in medical diagnostics, LED optics and lighting as well as having exciting prospects at Conductive Inkjet Technology."

Carclo is a global supplier of technical plastic components.

Two-thirds of its sales come from the supply of fine tolerance, injection moulded plastic components, which are used in medical, optical and electronics products.

One-third of sales come from the supply of specialised precision products to the premium automotive and aerospace industries.

The group said pre-tax profits for the year to March 31 rose 27 per cent, to 4.6m.

Chief executive Ian Williamson has agreed to stay on until 2013 to oversee the development of the CIT division.

Under company rules, Mr Williamson should only work until his 60th birthday, which is next year. Shareholders will vote on his reappointment at the AGM, on September 2.

CIT is now generating commercial revenues and sales are expected to step up significantly in the second half as the new touch sensor products enter production.

Earlier this year, Carclo raised 3.5m through a placing to fund growth at its CIT business.

The group raised the money through a placing of 2,858,000 new Carclo shares.

This five per cent placing was achieved at a nil discount to the prevailing mid-market price.

TECHNOLOGY WITH GROWTH POTENTIAL

Carclo is working on an innovative new lighting device for use in flat screen TVs and other electronic displays, which will cost a fraction of the current price.

Carclo has joined forces with lighting specialist Cambridge Display Technology to produce the device.

It will use technology created by Carclo's Conductive Inkjet Technology division, which prints "invisible" copper lines on plastic products.

The project is being part-funded by the Government-backed Technology

Strategy Board.

Conductive Inkjet Technology has major growth potential for Carclo. Last year it won a landmark deal to develop and launch a new touch screen for use in mobile phones.