Badgerline beats profit forecasts

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BADGERLINE Group's slow- moving share price shifted up a gear yesterday, rising 3p to 123p on better-than-expected 1993 taxable profits of pounds 6.9m, writes John Shepherd.

The result compared with pounds 3.2m the year before, and a forecast of pounds 6.7m when the Bristol-based local bus company floated at 115p per share in November.

Trevor Smallwood, chairman, said it was too early to make any predictions but he looked forward confidently to another successful year. He said the recent pounds 23m acquisition of the PMT Group, which runs bus services in North Staffordshire and South Cheshire, would enhance earnings.

The profit improvement mainly reflected a 3.7 per cent rise in turnover to pounds 131.8m and a limited rise in operating costs of 2.7 per cent to pounds 104.4m.

There is no payout for 1993 due to the shortness of the company's lsting, but the directors intend to start paying dividends when the first-half results for 1994 are announced.