City File: John Tams develops extra ranges for Marks & Spencer

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JOHN TAMS, the 119-year-old Stoke-based pottery manufacturer, is developing extra ranges for Marks & Spencer and has picked up more work from Cadbury. Since coming to the stock market three years ago, Tams, the UK's biggest maker of mugs, has expanded into earthenware and fine bone china. Its recent acquisition of Royal Grafton China means that fine bone china could shortly account for 40 per cent of sales. More deals are expected, especially now that the group has gained broader institutional backing. A recent placing was taken up by 12 funds - more than trebling the number of institutional shareholders. A new warehouse and distribution centre is also planned. Gearing, which has been falling, could drop to 20 per cent by the year end. Profits may reach pounds 2.5m this year, compared with pounds 1.6m in 1991.