City File: Long storey

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HARD hats may be needed at Tarmac's annual general meeting this Wednesday, as the company tries to explain why it paid off three directors to the tune of pounds 492,000 in the same year it lost pounds 1m each working day. True, the construction industry has been hammered by recession, but Wimpey looks good by comparison. For the year ending December 1992, it turned in a pounds 112m loss, but net debt dropped to pounds 136m from more than pounds 350m two years ago. With a 55 per cent rise in sales this year, the cash call launched last Thursday may be opportunistic, but Wimpey has timed it perfectly.