The series of major storms across the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico in recent weeks has disrupted operations at British industrial group Essentra, it warned today.
The troubled FTSE 250 components manufacturer – which makes products such as cigarette filters and pipe protection for the oil and gas industry – said its two packaging sites in Puerto Rico have been offline since last Tuesday. The company said the sites are “fundamentally intact” but “there are significant impediments to resuming manufacturing activity, including the circumstances of employees, availability of power, ongoing disruption to general infrastructure and the extent to which customers themselves have been impacted”.
The US territory was devastated by last week’s hurricane – the most powerful to hit in 85 years – with President Donald Trump telling reporters the island had been “absolutely obliterated”.
Essentra said it cannot confirm when output will resume, but added that it is “unlikely to be in the immediate future”.
The plant closures will cost Essentra between £500,000 and £750,000 per week, though it expects to recover a “significant part” of the costs through insurance.
Essentra added that its operations in Houston, Florida and Puerto Rico also suffered “minor” disruptions from the earlier hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which it said will hit profits by between £0.5m and £1m.
Paul Forman, Essentra chief executive, said:
Given the exceptional nature of Hurricane Maria and the current level of ucnertainty regarding its ongoing impact, the company is clearly continuing to closely monitor the situation in Puerto Rico and will provide an update in our next trading statement, or when we have greater clarity if earlier.