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Boosey up an octave to pounds 4.4m

BOOSEY & Hawkes, the music publisher and classical instruments maker, has shaken off market difficulties in Japan and on the Continent to report higher pre-tax profits, writes Robert Cole.

Profit before tax rose 4 per cent to pounds 4.4m for the year to 31 December. The overall advance was achieved despite the negative impact of pounds 500,000 in reorganisation costs incurred in the Japanese part of Boosey's business.

Earnings per share moved ahead more quickly than profits because a lower tax charge resulted from the company's use of tax losses in Germany. Boosey said the tax charge, at 31 per cent compared with 37 per cent, might rise this year.

Earnings were 14 per cent higher at 76.8p (67.5p). The dividend was raised in line to 25p. The shares rose 12p to 1,275p yesterday.

Boosey is planning a five-for-one share split to improve trading liquidity.