Cost reduction programmes enable glass manufacturer to increase pre-tax profit to £165m.

Pilkington PLC has recorded a pre-tax profit of £165m for the year ending 31 March 2005, up 20% on the previous 12 months. Chairman Sir Nigel Rudd said that the group’s success was down to improvements in efficiency.

He said that the Group had also benefited from cost reduction programmes and that its focus on cash generation had enabled it to reduce net debt.

Rudd said: "Adoption of a progressive dividend policy is an indication of the Board's growing confidence in the capability of the business to generate cash sustainably."

In his statement to the board, Sir Nigel said that Pilkington Automotive was well placed to win new business as car manufacturing continued to grow worldwide, and that overall the group expected to make further progress in 2005/06.