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Heywood Williams announces 'satisfactory' 2007

Heywood Williams said trading has been 'satisfactory given the market conditions' in the year to 31 December 2007.

But its North American division, which specialises in the manufactured and modular housing markets, will generate lower profits in 2007 than last time.

Its European division, which serves the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia and the Baltic countries, continued to grow, but it said the UK market slowed in the fourth quarter.

The Halifax-based building hardware company said overall, its pre-tax profit in 2007 would be at least £9 million.

However it qualified that this profit was before “exceptional items, amortisation of brands and patents and notional interest”.

It said the integration of Irish hardware group Avenco was proceeding as planned, after its acquisition for £15.6 million in August.

The group expects consumers to be cautious about new purchases in the UK and Ireland and said it foresaw “subdued levels” in its North American markets.