March 1, 2012 / 7:56 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Fiberweb swings to loss, cuts dividend

* FY underlying pretax loss 5.1 mln stg vs pretax profit 6.1 mln stg yr ago

* Revenue rises 11 pct to 297.8 mln stg

* Expects to benefit from restructuring in 2012

March 1 (Reuters) - Non-woven fabrics maker Fiberweb cut its full-year dividend as it swung to an underlying pretax loss, hurt by higher costs and delays in sales related to a restructuring of its businesses.

The company, which eliminated debt with the sale of its lower-margin hygiene business last year, expected to be in a much stronger position and see the benefits of the rationalisation in 2012 and beyond.

In December, Fiberweb had said it would start 2012 as a transformed business, becoming cash positive more than five years after it spun-off from BBA Aviation.

The company is now focused on its industrial and construction materials businesses.

It had net cash of 22 million pounds as on Dec. 31, 2011.

Fiberweb, which sold off around 40 percent of its business, including six manufacturing sites in five countries, took an exceptional charge of 2.1 million pounds related to the restructuring.

The fabric maker cut its final dividend by a quarter to 2 pence, taking its total dividend to 3 pence for the year.

January-December underlying pretax loss was 5.1 million pounds, compared with a pretax profit of 6.1 million pounds last year.

Revenue rose 11 percent to 297.8 million pounds.

Fiberweb shares, which have gained 12 percent in value since the beginning of the year, closed at 60 pence on Wednesday on the London Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Juhi Arora in Bangalore; Editing by Roshni Menon)

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