BICC Plc, which reported pre-tax profits before exceptional items up 18.3m pounds at 129m pounds, says it continues to face particularly difficult market conditions for its traditional cable products in Europe. We do, however, expect the improvements in our growth areas of business to continue, with an emphasis on the second half, it said. It plans to press on with a reorientation plan designed to forge new growth from cables in the developing economies of Asia and Latin America. Chief executive Alan Jones told Reuters that an encouragingly strong cash performance in 1996 underpinned his optimism for growth from ongoing investments in 1997 and beyond. Across cables and construction BICC has consolidated its businesses and sought to reduce exposure and tied-up capital in low margin sectors – improving cash performance and creating more room for a big push into data and communications cables. No further major closures or reductions are expected in traditional cables in Europe.