Giving a trading update, Jim Nicol CEO of Tomkins plc, said: “Conditions in some of our end markets appear to have stabilised. Our performance has been positively impacted by our restructuring initiatives. As a consequence, we have seen month-on-month improvement in our financial performance. Our cash generation remains strong, with net debt down $121.7 million to $394.2 million since the end of the first half. Although demand side visibility remains limited, we expect the second half of 2009 to be better than the first half of the year.
“A number of our businesses continued to see month-on-month improvements throughout the third quarter, with the Automotive Original Equipment market showing some increased activity, driven by government incentives and scrappage programmes, low inventory levels and new business launches. The Automotive Aftermarket business continued to show its resilience, but sales to the Industrial Original Equipment market remain weak, principally due to limited credit availability, destocking and low end-customer demand. The agriculture and construction markets remain particularly weak, with a number of customers in Europe implementing late summer shutdowns. In the Industrial Replacement market, destocking appears to have subsided, and as such sales declines have stabilised, with some evidence of end-customer demand pull-through.”