Company News in Brief

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The Independent Online
MAI, the financial services and broadcasting group, has sold the bulk of its radio interests to Harmsworth Media for pounds 6.8m, and the rest to GWR, the independent local radio group, for pounds 700,000.

Lookers, the vehicle and leasing motor group, doubled pre-tax profits to pounds 3.1m ( pounds 1.54m) in the six months to 31 March. Turnover rose to pounds 186.9m ( pounds 163.7m). Earnings per share are 7.8p (2.6p). Interim dividend 2.4p (2p).

Ramco Oil Services, provider of services to the petroleum and marine industries, reported a slight fall in pre-tax profits to pounds 323,000 ( pounds 349,000) for the year ended 31 December as turnover eased from pounds 5.4m to pounds 4.8m. Earnings per share are 0.6p (1.88p). Final dividend is 0.5p (1p).

Year to 31 March

Borthwicks, food products maker, made pounds 1.7m pre-tax profits (loss pounds 2m) in the absence of a pounds 2.8m provision for the sale and write- down of assets from the previous year. Turnover fell to pounds 29.1m ( pounds 42.9m). Earnings per share 2.5p (Lps 3.8p). Total dividend 1.3p (1.2p).

Channel Holdings, the car security products and security alarms group, sharply increased pre-tax profits to pounds 1.7m against pounds 308,000 for the previous 15 months. The profit increase reflected maiden contributions from the acquisitions of CQR, which makes all components for burglar alarm systems, and Carflow, maker of mechanical anti-theft devices for cars like the LongArm steering wheel immobiliser. Turnover rose from pounds 1.6m to pounds 15m. Earnings per share improved to 3.5p (2.4p). Final dividend is 0.7p, making 1.2p (1p).