Chemicals company Elementis warned on profit following a 'subdued' final quarter, as its chromium and energy business segments were hurt by a challenging market backdrop. Trading in the fourth quarter had been somewhat subdued and as a result adjusted operating profit for 2019 was anticipated to be in the range of $122m to $124m, the company warned. Performance in 2019 had been negatively impacted by a 'challenging market backdrop as the more cyclically exposed parts of the portfolio like chromium and energy have deteriorated through the second half,' it added. In chromium, a weak demand environment and lower market prices resulted in weaker than expected performance. Energy performance, meanwhile, was weaker than expected due to a further slowdown in North American drilling activity, with the fourth-quarter rig count down about 25%. Elementis said, however, that it remained committed to delivering its medium term performance objectives of a 17% operating profit margin, operating cash conversion of at least 90% per annum and financial leverage of under 1.5 times earnings.
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