Associated Fisheries into black

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SHARES IN Associated Fisheries jumped 14p to 141p after the food processing, storage and transport group reported profits before tax of pounds 3.2m for 1992, against results for 1991 that have been restated to show a loss of pounds 4.5m, writes John Murray.

The company recorded a pounds 1.3m profit when it announced its 1991 results but took a pounds 5.5m extraordinary provision against the sale of its stake in Macfish, the fish processor, below the line.

Associated sold its 50 per cent stake in September to Foodmark, a Danish company, at a loss of pounds 5m, so pounds 500,000 has been written back as profit against the over-provision. Group turnover rose pounds 1m to pounds 84.6m.

Denis Bowley, managing director, said trading was particularly strong in the cold storage and transport companies.

The results from fish-related businesses also improved, but Mr Bowley said that was largely due to the absence of bad debts and a fraud that hit the 1991 results.

'The price of haddock declined by a third and North Sea quotas of cod and haddock were exhausted by October, which affected our Scottish fishing operations,' he said.

He warned that weaker demand for frozen vegetables would make it difficult for the cold storage business to repeat last year's strong performance.

The dividend rises 1p to 8p, on earnings per share of 19.2p.