July 25, 2012 / 6:57 AM / 5 years ago

Cookson Group profit falls as silica business posts loss

July 25 (Reuters) - British industrial materials group Cookson Group Plc reported a lower first-half profit on losses at its fused silica business and said its strategic review was proceeding as planned.

In May, Cookson said it was conducting a review which could see the company split its two divisions in a bid to boost shareholder returns, a move analysts believed made strategic sense.

The company, which makes products used in the glass and solar industries as well as by steelmakers and foundries, expects to update shareholders on the review before year-end.

Cookson said pretax profit for the first half fell to 127.6 million pounds ($198.12 million), excluding certain items, from 132.1 million pounds a year earlier.

Revenue fell 4 percent on an underlying basis to 1.3 billion pounds. The fused silica business, which is coping with a fall in demand for its solar crucibles used to produce photovoltaic panels, posted a loss of 5 million pounds. ($1 = 0.6441 British pounds) (Reporting by Abhishek Takle in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian) (Created by Abhishek Takle)

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