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UK - Castings boss laments 'crazy' cost increases

Brian Cooke, chairman of Castings PLC, has repeated an earlier warning that unprecedented cost increases have created a “crazy” situation.

A shareholder at the Brownhills company’s annual meeting asked Mr Cooke is he was standing by that epithet. He confirmed: “It has been crazy”, adding that it is still impossible to forecast prospects for next year.

“Our main customers are reluctant to forecast volumes for 2009 and hence we cannot forecast out prospects for 2009,” he said.

Afterwards he explained “I was referring to metal prices. They have eased, but it might be temporary.”

He stressed that Castings PLC is still enjoying strong demand from its main customers in the European truck industry.

“Demand is still very good,” he stressed. “But look at Scania’s interim report, for instance. They are busy, but for 2009 they are not prepared to forecast their volumes.

“They are catching up with a huge backlog, but the new orders are not coming in.”

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