Company News in Brief

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The Independent Online
Year ended 31 December

Le Creuset, the French-based London-quoted cast iron cookware maker, returned lower pre-tax profits of pounds 3m ( pounds 3.6m), suffering from high interest rates and depressed consumer spending in France. The strong franc bit into margins and held back exports. Total dividend is Fr0.44 per share (Fr0.43).

Parambe, art dealer and investor, declined from pounds 114,000 to pounds 40,000 pre-tax profit. Eps 0.46p (1.27p). Total dividend is held at 1.1p.

Reed Executive, the employment agency, achieved pounds 665,000 pre-tax profit (loss pounds 7.3m). Eps 0.2p (lps 11.2p). Total dividend is 1p.

Others

Darby Group, glass products maker, boosted pre-tax profits to pounds 813,000 ( pounds 225,000) for the year to 28 February, despite a fall in sales to pounds 14.6m ( pounds 17.6m). Eps 4.17p (lps 16.68p). Total dividend is 1.2p.

Welpac, DIY products supplier, is raising pounds 2.7m through a placing and open offer of 12 million shares of 25p. Taxable losses fell to pounds 979,000 ( pounds 3m) in the year to 31 January. Lps 3.5p (11.2p).

Cleveland Trust has doubled its industrial investment property portfolio after making a pounds 10m property purchase from Ashtenne.

ML Holdings, the electrical and electronic components maker, is to raise pounds 3m through a placing of 7.5 million shares at 41p a share.

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