Company News in Brief

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The Independent Online
Powell Duffryn and its partner CEPSA have sold Proquimica, their joint chemical storage business in Spain, to Terminales Portuarias for pounds 10.1m. The sale follows a decision by CEPSA not to invest in chemical storage facilities in the future.

Elswick, the print and packaging specialist and agrochemicals group, reported a 23 per cent rise in trading profits from pounds 2.9m to pounds 3.55 but was only able to show pounds 1.5m taxable loss for the year to 31 January compared with pounds 1.9m pre-tax profit last time. The loss came about after goodwill relating to Bomford Turner and its subsidiaries Turner Equipment and Dandl Manufacturing, which had previously been written off to reserves, was restated through the profit and loss in accordance with IIMR accounting rules. Goodwill written off in the previous year amounted to a little under pounds 5.6m. The group realised pounds 1.6m from the disposal of discontinued activities. It slashed total interest costs to pounds 536,000 (pounds 971,000). Sales grew to pounds 54.2m (pounds 50.5m). Loss per share is 1.14p (EPS 0.78p). Final dividend is 0.18p, making 0.33p (0.3p).

GBE International, the steel profiles and pipe flanges maker, lifted pre-tax profits from pounds 2.4m to pounds 2.8m for the year ended 31 December on turnover up 9 per cent to pounds 39.4m (pounds 36.3m). Its process engineering division increased turnover by 6 per cent to pounds 34.2m, with a significant improvement from its packaging division. Earnings per share increased by 25 per cent from 3.06p to 3.82p. The total payout for the year rose to 1.25p (0.05p).

Unigroup, the timber and building products maker and distributor, returned lower pre-tax profits of pounds 312,000 (pounds 446,000) for the six months to 31 December. Earnings per share were 0.1p (1p).

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