Boosey & Hawkes fails to lift gloom

Shares in Boosey & Hawkes plunged a further 37.5p yesterday, despite a strong set of first-half figures.

Boosey & Hawkes yesterday said that rising costs associated with takeover talks at its main shareholder Carl Fischer had cost the group pounds 570,000 in the last six months.

Boosey & Hawkes' share price under Richard Holland, chief executive, has fluctuated wildly amid growing speculation about its future.

US based Carl Fischer, which owns a 43 per cent share in Boosey & Hawkes, decided to put up its stake for sale earlier this year. Under UK takeover rules, whoever buys Fischer's stake must put in an offer for the whole of Boosey's. But it was revealed last week that the offers Fischer had been receiving for Boosey were ``materially below'' the current share price.

All the big names in the music industry are thought to have been eyeing up Boosey including Polygram, EMI and Sony. They are likely to be interested in Boosey's music publishing business, but analysts are expressing doubts about the future of its instrument manufacturing business. Though Boosey may be able to exploit synergies from their publishing and instrument manufacturing divisions, it is not at all clear whether a out and out music publisher such as EMI would be able to do so.

Boosey announced first-half operating profits of pounds 3.4m yesterday, up from pounds 2.8m in the same period last year. Sales were also up by 4 per cent, despite being held back by a pounds 3.8m currency hit. Yet profits before tax fell by 14 per cent, after costs relating to sterling's strength and the possible sale of Carl Fischer's 43 per cent stake in the company. Without these costs, pre tax profits would have risen by 13 per cent. Shares closed at 787.5p, 37.5p down on yesterday, and 26 per cent lower than August's peak.

Boosey's underlying figures are strong. Instrument manufacture and publishing, Boosey's two main divisions, both improved on last year, despite the effect of the rising pound.

The instrument division saw a mammoth 75 per cent jump in operating profits this half, up to pounds 2.66m. Almost half of this increase came from reed makers Rico, considerably exceeding management expectations. Boosey and Hawkes acquired US based Rico International in September 1996 for pounds 18m.

Overseas, instrument sales were up in Germany, but down in Japan. The downturn in Japanese sales was attributed to ``the continuing weakness'' of the Japanese economy.

Before consideration of special costs, operating profits in publishing were marginally up on the same period last year. However, a combination of German restructuring costs and the strong pound helped to knock operating profits after special costs down to pounds 1.51m.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Angel Di Maria is shown the red card
tech
Sport
Roger Federer after his win over Tomas Berdych
sport
Life and Style
News in briefs: big pants in 'Bridget Jones's Diary'
fashionBig knickers are back
Sport
James Milner is set to sign for Liverpool this week despite rival interest from Arsenal
sportReds baulk at Benteke £32.5m release clause
News
The controversial Motor Neurone Disease Association poster, featuring sufferer Michael Smith, has drawn a series of angry complaints
newsThis one has been criticised for its 'threatening tone'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Guru Careers: Communications Exec / PR Exec

£25 - £30K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a highly-motivated and ambitious Comm...

Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral