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Synthomer Chief Says Europe Recovery Taking Longer Than Forecast

Aug. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Synthomer Plc, the world’s leading maker of nitrile rubber used in medical gloves, said there are very few signs of recovery in Europe, and the company will push ahead with plans for expansion in emerging markets.

The current slowdown in construction markets in Europe is denting demand for polymers and dispersions used in paints and adhesives, Chief Executive Officer Adrian Whitfield said in an interview today. “I would expect analysts to reduce their expectations for European demand” and to cut full-year estimates for profit as a result, he said.

Synthomer is making savings to buoy results as it completes the integration of a latex business bought from TowerBrook Capital in 2011 for almost $600 million. The market for nitrile latex gloves remains “healthy,” Whitfield said, as synthetic gloves more resistant to oil and chemicals gain ground on natural-rubber ones.

First-half underlying pretax profit fell 10 percent to 48.6 million pounds ($75 million), as sales declined 7.5 percent to 558.3 million pounds, the Harlow, England-based company said in a statement today.

Synthomer’s shares fell 0.9 percent to 204.1 pence as of 9:39 a.m. in London.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Noel in London at anoel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at sthiel1@bloomberg.net

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