Ad agency gives new warning

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SHARES IN Gold Greenlees Trott crashed 45p to 194p after the advertising agency issued its second profits warning in six months, writes John Murray.

The company said profits were unlikely to exceed pounds 3m for the year to the end of April. The total dividend will be cut by 3p to 5.3p. Analysts had already reduced profits forecasts from pounds 6m to pounds 4m- pounds 4.5m after the company warned in October that its UK business was depressed.

The company said yesterday that hopes for a particularly strong performance from the US business had proved unfounded, mainly because of the postponement of a national launch by a leading client, and by higher-than-expected costs on new business.

The board said it remained confident in the underlying strength of the business and had already taken steps to improve growth and profitability, particularly in the UK.