Company News in Brief

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The Independent Online
Campari International, the leisure and sports clothing designer and distributor, reported an pounds 8.6m taxable loss for the year ended 31 December, and described as 'extremely poor' a year in which turnover and margins fell. Total group sales were down on the previous year at pounds 47.5m and included acquisitions made at the start of the year amounting to pounds 1.1m. Clearance of excess stock from previous years resulted in a pounds 1.2m provision and pounds 1m in exchange losses. Loss per share is 83.2p (Eps 0.79p). No dividend.

Shorco International lifted pre-tax profits from pounds 206,000 to pounds 284,000 in the year to December. Turnover showed a slight fall to pounds 7.1m (pounds 6.85m). Earnings per share improved from 4.2p to 6.4p. A 2.8p final payout maintained the total for the year at 5.2p.

Elys of Wimbledon, the department store, announced a 33 per cent decline in pre-tax profits from pounds 502,000 to pounds 366,000 for the year to January. Total sales from the store declined from pounds 10.3m to pounds 9.5m. Earnings per share dropped to 19.4p (29p). Total dividend is 17p, up from 16p.

Sketchley, the dry-cleaning, textile maintenance and photographic services provider, is to buy Warrender, a privately owned business providing services to the airline industry, for pounds 7.9m.

Merchant Retail will retain Normans, its food retailing division, for which it received an offer. A restructuring programme is likely to make Normans more profitable.