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    Castings boss laments 'crazy' cost increases
    9/5/2008
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        Brian Cooke, chairman of Castings, has repeated an earlier warning that unprecedented cost increases have created a ¡°crazy¡± situation.

    A shareholder at the Brownhills company¡¯s annual meeting asked Mr Cooke is he was standing by that epithet. He confirmed: ¡°It has been crazy¡±, adding that it is still impossible to forecast prospects for next year.

    ¡°Our main customers are reluctant to forecast volumes for 2009 and hence we cannot forecast out prospects for 2009,¡± he said.

    Afterwards he explained ¡°I was referring to metal prices. They have eased, but it might be temporary.¡±

    He stressed that Castings is still enjoying strong demand from its main customers in the European truck industry.

    ¡°Demand is still very good,¡± he stressed. ¡°But look at Scania¡¯s interim report, for instance. They are busy, but for 2009 they are not prepared to forecast their volumes.

    ¡°They are catching up with a huge backlog, but the new orders are not coming in.¡±

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