Sausage casings maker Devro today (28 April) published a mixed trading update, revealing that margins were improving but that sales were down on last year.

The UK-based firm said “better sales mix and increasing prices” meant margins had improved from 1 January meaning that the company was “on track” to meet the board’s expectations for the full year.

When Devro published its 2010 results in March, the company said only that it would “continue to seek” improved margins. It also said it expected volumes to “increase further” in 2011 but it gave no guidance on sales or profits.

Today’s trading update revealed that Devro’s total sales were “slightly behind last year” due to “challenging conditions in lower-priced markets, including China”. The company said, however, that it had seen “solid growth” in Eastern Europe, Russia and south-east Asia.

“The benefits of last year’s investment programme are also starting to come through, with improved manufacturing efficiencies partially compensating for some increased input costs. Capital investment projects for 2011 are proceeding as planned,” Devro said. “We remain confident of the outlook for the full year.”

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By GlobalData