In an interim management statement released on 10 November Cookson Group plc said that trading conditions for its electronics division had improved since it last reported in August, although some other parts of the group’s business were experiencing more difficult markets. Cookson is the world’s largest producer of solder.

In the statement Cookson said: “The Electronics division experienced a strengthening of demand through the period, in line with normal seasonal trends but with the improvement being slightly stronger than previously expected. It continues to benefit both from its strong market positions in the faster growth market segments within consumer electronics, such as tablets and smartphones, and also the increased market penetration of related, innovative and higher margin products such as advanced solder pastes and ‘tape and reel’ packaged solder pre-forms.”

In its first half results Cookson had reported a 2% year-on-year increase in sales for the division, with a marked contrast in performance between solder pastes (up 7% year-on-year) and bar (down 12%). The latest comments may indicate a continuation of these trends, with growth focussed in products employing surface mount technology.