By Stuart Condie
SYDNEY – Shares of Reliance Worldwide Corp. were on course for their worst day since March 2020 after the Australian plumbing supplies maker said first-quarter profits were hurt by falling sales volumes and rising costs.
The stock was down 12% at 3.16 Australian dollars ($2.00) in early trading on Tuesday and the worst performing component of Australia’s S&P/ASX 200. The benchmark index rose 0.6%.
Shares of Reliance haven’t fallen much in a full session since the Covid-19 pandemic first rocked global markets. The stock suffered six of its seven biggest one-day declines in less than a month in February and March 2020.
Reliance said on Tuesday that earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization for the three months through September fell 4% year-on-year after the impact of one-time items eliminated. He said sales volumes were down year-on-year in the Americas, UK and Europe, while input costs, including copper, zinc and stainless steel , had increased.
Reliance said demand for specialty products, including water filtration and beverage dispensers, eased after a strong rally in the prior year. Underlying demand for plumbing and heating products remained broadly stable, he added.
Chief executive Heath Sharp warned of what he called deteriorating economic conditions that prompted Reliance to refocus on cost cutting.
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