Browning in war of words with Attwoods

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The Independent Online
Browning Ferris Industries, involved in a hostile 109p-a-share takeover bid for Attwoods, the waste management company, yesterday launched a pre- emptive strike against suggestions that its target is poised to disclose better first-quarter trading figures.

Browning has circularised Attwoods' shareholders, saying they should not be impressed if this occurs.

The US-based predator says: 'High provisioning in 1994 and seasonal business factors will almost inevitably lead to favourable first-quarter figures.

Don't be misled: the first quarter is not necessarily a reliable guide to the full year.'

Browning says Attwoods management is likely to try to paint 'a rosy picture' of earnings prospects for 1995 despite recent disappointing yearly trading figures showing falling profits, margins and earnings per share.

Attwoods said last night Browning was merely persisting in 'its attempts to justify its wholly inadequate offer'. It said it had never sought to disguise its caution about trading conditions.

Attwoods shares were 113p, down 1p on the day.