Company News in Brief

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Regina, the international health products group, has found itself in the midst of a takeover battle, to which its recently ousted chief executive, Sharik Malik-Noor, is fighting to return and gain board control. Mr Malik-Noor, who owns 25 per cent of the company's shares, is asking shareholders to reinstate him. He also wants to appoint two associates to the board.

Hewitt Group, which makes and sells industrial ceramics and refractory products, announced a sharp decline in pre-tax profits from pounds 832,000 to pounds 8,000 for the year ended 31 December. Turnover was bolstered by a pounds 2.95m acquisition of an associated company to pounds 11.1m ( pounds 7.75m). Operating losses of pounds 222,000 were offset by a pounds 284,000 gain from the sale of an asset. Interest charges jumped to pounds 226,000 ( pounds 81,000). The company attributed the poorer than expected results for the year to slow progress at Hewitt Industriekeramik in Germany. Loss per share is 8.3p (eps 14.8p). Dividend per share is 3.25p (3p).

Magnolia Group, the picture frame mouldings and equipment maker and importer, made pounds 72,000 ( pounds 84,000) pre-tax profit for the year to 31 December. Earnings per share are 1.08p (1.89p). The dividend is 0.1p.