Companies in Brief

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The Independent Online
Reed Executive, the recruitment agents, reported deeper pre-tax losses of pounds 3.7m (loss pounds 3.2m) in the half-year to 28 June. Alec Reed, chairman, acknowledged a small improvement in activity in the sector and said that cash losses over the past three years had been drastically reduced. He went on to admit, however, that the company was likely to trade at a loss for 'some time yet'. No dividend.

Scottish Television recorded a sharp increase in pre-tax profits from pounds 1.2m to pounds 2.2m for the half-year to 30 June. Turnover improved from pounds 52.1m to pounds 57.2m. The company said the results reflected the success of its cost-cutting drive and increasing market share of advertising revenue. A sharp reduction in the Exchequer levy from pounds 2.3m to pounds 549,000 also helped. The interim dividend was raised from 1.4375p to 1.725p.

James Wilkes, the engineer, slumped to pounds 316,000 pre-tax loss (profit pounds 2.75m) in the half-year to 31 June. Arthur Watt, chairman, said the costs incurred in the defence of the Petrocon bid and the loss arising on the sale of its aviation division had been accounted for as extraordinary items amounting to pounds 1.4m. Interim dividend is cut to 3.25p (4.75p).

Ash & Lacy, the metal processor and storage tanks maker, fell to pounds 2m (pounds 2.3m) pre-tax profit in the half-year to 30 June. Turnover improved slightly from pounds 27.8m to pounds 28.7m. Interim dividend is held at 2.5p.

Dolphin Packaging, the plastic packaging producer, almost halved pre-tax profits from pounds 1.4m to pounds 789,000 in the half-year to 30 June. Sales fell to pounds 13m (pounds 13.9m). Interim dividend is held at 1.7p.

Albert Martin Holdings, which makes clothes, lifted pre-tax profits to pounds 572,000 (pounds 532,000) in the half-year to 30 June. Interim dividend is 1.7p.

REA Holdings, the merchant bankers, reported a drop in pre-tax profits to pounds 193,000 (pounds 255,000) in the half-year to 30 June. No dividend.

Carlisle Group, provider of property services, incurred deeper pre-tax losses of pounds 707,000 (pounds 549,000) in the half-year to 30 June. No dividend.

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