Business news in brief
Thursday 03 April 1997
Ultra Electronics, the specialist supplier of equipment to the Navy and Air Force, just beat its forecast profit of pounds 14.5m for 1996 made at the time the company floated last October. Turnover was up 27.1 per cent including organic growth of 17.5 per cent and, after an exceptional charge of pounds 600,000 attributed to the cost of providing staff shares in the float, profit before tax was pounds 14.1m, up from pounds 6.4m in 1995. Pro forma earnings per share jumped from 6.9p to 15.1p, compared with the 14.8p forecast last October, but as forecast there will be no dividend this year. An interim dividend will be paid in October. The shares fell 4p to 278.5p.
Johnston Press ahead
Johnston Press, the regional newspaper group, reported pre-tax profits before exceptional items of pounds 23.5m, up from pounds 16.8m in 1995. Analysts said this year should see a further improvement, with advertising strong and cover sales rising. There will also be a first time contribution from the newspaper titles acquired from Emap for pounds 211m last July.
UniChem buys pharmacies
Moss Chemists, the retail division of UniChem, has bought two community pharmacies in Essex and Northumberland for up to pounds 716,000. The deal will increase the number of Moss outlets in Britain to 459.
Building contractor joins AIM
Bickerton Group, a building contractor in the public and private sectors, said it is joining the Alternative Investment Market with a placing of up to 5.1 million ordinary shares at 40p. Dealings in the oversubscribed issue start on Friday. In the eight months to December, the group achieved pre-tax profits of pounds 226,000 on turnover of pounds 16.2m.
Falling demand hinders UDO
Interim pre-tax profits for UDO Holdings fell to pounds 2.27m from pounds 3.17m. Chairman Mike Wright blamed falling demand in the goods and supplies business. "With the benefit of hindsight we might have reacted more quickly to the falling demand and operational problems," he said. Earnings per share were down to 5.09p from 7.25p. The interim dividend was maintained at 2.75p.
Fee revenue boost for Shandwick
Shandwick's pre-tax profits in the first four months of the current financial year are ahead of the same period a year earlier on the back of an 11.3 per cent increase in comparable fee revenues, chairman Lord Chadlington said at yesterday's annual meeting. He added that like-for-like revenues should grow at more than 10 per cent this year, with a particularly strong performance in the US.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
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