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8 March, 2016 - 09:10 By Kate Sweeney

Dialight closes UK manufacturing as shares and financial fortunes dive

dialight, led, lighting

Dialight, the Cambridge LED lighting technology business, is battling to turn round its fortunes after seeing a £15.5 million 2014 pre-tax profit turn to a £3.9m loss last year.

A jobs cull and tightening of manufacturing processes – including the closure of its UK manufacturing plant from today – has helped Dialight begin to turn the tide, according to CEO Michael Sutsko. But he admitted the economic outlook remained uncertain.

He blamed a global downturn in demand for the problems, although revenue was slightly up to £161.4m from £159.8m in the year to December 31.

The UK market reflected shareholder concern as the stock dipped more than six per cent (31p) to a 12-month low of 485p on early trading and the board revealed it was not proposing a final dividend for 2015. It paid 9.8p per share in 2014.

Sutsko said: “2015 was a difficult year for Dialight. A downturn across a number of our markets exacerbated operating challenges. “We took immediate action in the second half of the year to address these issues, including improving operational processes in our manufacturing plants and reducing headcount.

“In October 2015 we set out a new strategy to return the business to sustainable profitable growth. We are making progress in 2016, having refocused our sales strategy, established our first manufacturing partnership as well as securing our first automation partnership.

“Although the economic outlook remains uncertain, there are a number of initiatives underway and we are targeting underlying EBIT growth in 2016. We are confident in the group's outlook over the medium to long-term.”

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