Caledonian's asset value rises by 18%: Shares soar after profits rise announced

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The Independent Online
SHARES in Caledonian Investments hit a 1993 high yesterday, climbing 25p to 484p after the company reported an 18 per cent rise in its net asset value to 559p for the year to 31 March.

Profits before tax were pounds 36.7m, up from pounds 26.1m, which was adjusted down from a previously stated pounds 34.7m due to the introduction of the FRS3 accounting standard.

Trading activities generated pounds 15.7m of profits against pounds 6.9m, aided by a nine-month contribution from the 45 per cent owned Bristow Helicopters business.

There was also a seven-month contribution from Exco International, the money broker in which it has a 27 per cent stake.

Peter Buckley, chief executive of Caledonian, which is 48 per cent owned by the Cayzer family, said: 'The year has seen the results of our move to increase our exposure to trading activities by the acquisition of substantial holdings where we are in a position to influence events. We are not short-term merchants.'

Income from investments - which include stakes in English & Scottish Investors, British Empire Securities, Close Brothers, Vaux and London Forfaiting - totalled pounds 12.9m.

That compares with pounds 18.6m, which included the final pounds 6.8m payment from British & Commonwealth preference shares.

Interest receivable dipped from pounds 12.2m to pounds 11m.

At the year-end Caledonian held pounds 10.9m of cash and pounds 88.1m of short-term deposits against a respective pounds 6.5m and pounds 74.4m.

Earnings per share rose 11.6 per cent to 26.9p, but the dividend increase is kept to 4.2 per cent to 15p to 'restore a stronger dividend cover'.

(Graph omitted)

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