Gooch & Housego shares fall as laser industry struggles

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Gooch & Housego shares fall as laser industry struggles
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The price of shares in AIM-listed Gooch & Housego (LON:GHH) has plunged by 23.70% to 1,030p (as of 15:35 BST) after the firm’s profits before tax fell by 71.8% during the half year ended 31st March. Revenues for the six months were up by 7.4%, but profits suffered due to a downturn in the industrial lasers market and the company has adjusted full year forecasts downwards.

CEO Mark Webster said: “Trading in the last six months has reflected trends previously reported. G&H has long been aware of the risks associated with the cyclical nature of the microelectronics sector and more recently the continued impact of the US/ China trade dispute. Our industrial laser order book has increased since our last update, but we now forecast the industrial laser business will not return to ‘normal’ levels in FY 2019.

“Technical innovation in microelectronic, semiconductor and industrial manufacturing, coupled with our market leading position means we expect supply of critical components to industrial lasers to be an important source of growth for G&H for the foreseeable future.

“The non- industrial laser business is expected to perform in line with management’s expectations. Our fibre optics business generally is performing strongly and in particular we are investing in further capacity to take advantage of the multi- year strong demand growth for hi- reliability fibre couplers.

“We remain confident in the potential of the industrial laser sector and our other markets to provide attractive long term growth“.

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