Carclo ends three years of decline

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The Independent Online
CARCLO, the Leeds-based engineering group, increased pre-tax profits in the six months to 30 September by 28 per cent to pounds 3.68m, ending a three-year run of declining figures, writes Tom Stevenson.

The improvement, from sales 5 per cent higher at pounds 40.7m, came despite professional fees of nearly pounds 200,000 for advice on abortive acquisitions and disposals. Earnings per share rose to 6.3p (4.9p).

Since the period end the company has increased its stake in the wire-maker Arthur Lee from 7.9 per cent to 29.9 per cent, the maximum it can hold without making a full bid. John Ewart, the chairman, would not comment on whether Carclo planned an offer.

Carclo's shares added 10p to 189p, reflecting hopes that a 5 per cent rise in the interim dividend to 1.8p net would be repeated at the year-end. They have risen from a low of 131p last September.

Mike Costello at Kleinwort Benson, the house broker, expects full-year profits to rise to pounds 7.5m ( pounds 5.63m) before tax.