Company News in Brief

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The Independent Online
Appleby Westward Group, the grocery retailer, revealed a sharp decline in pre-tax profits from pounds 1.3m to pounds 221,000 for the year to 28 February. Group sales were slightly up from pounds 70.6m to pounds 71.6m as a result of the pounds 4.9m additional business acquired from Watson & Philip in the last four months of the trading period. Trading profits declined to pounds 185,000 (pounds 1.2m). The company said although due regard must be given to the sub-contract commission payable on a declining scale to Watson & Philip over the next six years, it believes increased volume through its distribution network will leave it well placed for a return to growth. Earnings per share fell to 2.7p (15.7p). A 5.8p final dividend keeps the total unchanged at 9p.

Finsbury Trust is to pay a 2p final dividend, maintaining the total payout at 3.2p for the year to 31 March. Income from investments in the UK fell to pounds 949,000 (pounds 1.1m), while income from overseas improved. Net asset value per share grew to 181.1p (128.7p).

Barlo Group, maker of central heating radiators and industrial plastics, announced a 93 per cent increase in operating profits to Ir pounds 9m (Ir pounds 4.7m) on turnover up from Ir pounds 49.7m to Ir pounds 97.3m. Pre-tax profits were virtually doubled from Ir pounds 3.9m to Ir pounds 7.8m for the year to 31 March, and included a nine-month contribution from Veha, a Belgian radiator company acquired in July last year. Earnings per share rose to Ir5.11p (Ir3.65p). Final dividend is Ir0.6p, making Ir1p (0.5p).