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Company News in Brief

Golden Vale, producer and distributor of dairy products including milk powders, cheese and dairy spreads, which is based in Co Cork in Ireland, yesterday announced an increase in pre-tax profits from pounds 16.7m to pounds 19m for the year ended 31 December. Turnover grew from pounds 298m to pounds 376.2m. Earnings per share are 10.02p, up from 9.2p. Final dividend is 1.35p, making a higher total payout of 1.95p (1.63p).

River & Mercantile Extra Income Trust has maintained the second interim dividend payout at 1.97p. Pre-tax revenue rose to pounds 2.2m (pounds 1.8m). Earnings per share improved to 4.6p (3.65p) as did net asset value per share from 104.74p to 125.75p.

Royal Bank of Scotland has agreed to sell its 64 per cent shareholding in Associated Merchant Bank, which conducts leasing and hire purchase business in Singapore, for an undisclosed sum.

Chemring Group, the decoys, safety clothes and equipment maker, has bought Graseby Nova from a subsidiary of Graseby for pounds 1.1m in cash. The company said the acquisition should have a positive effect on earnings per share and is being funded from Chemring's own resources. Grase Nova, which will trade as Nova Marine Systems (Nova Marine), makes electronic marine search and rescue products and produces radio control centre equipment for the police and coastguard services.

EIS Group the hydraulic and aircraft engineer has bought C & F Miller, an aeroengine tooling and maintenance equipment maker based in Bristol, for pounds 489,000 in cash. The deal includes a further maximum cash price of pounds 100,000 to be based on pre-interest profits in the next three years.