Company News in Brief

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Quarto Group has bought Font Line Art Publishing, an art prints posters publisher, based in San Diego, California, for a maximum price of dollars 9m ( pounds 5.9m). Quarto will pay dollars 7m ( pounds 4.6m) in part cash (dollars 5.3m) and loan note (dollars 1.7) repayable in 1997. A performance-related deferred sum of up to dollars 2m ( pounds 1.3m) is payable over three years.

Diploma, the electronic components distributor, steel stockholder and lintel maker, advanced to pounds 11.5m ( pounds 8.1m) pre-tax profit for the six months to 31 March. on turnover of pounds 90.1m ( pounds 74m). Earnings per share improved to 13.3p (9.3p). Interim dividend was lifted to 4p (3.5p).

Fenner, the electronic, mechanical and fluid power transmission equipment maker, boosted pre-tax profits from pounds 105,000 to pounds 2.9m in the six months to 28 February, even though turnover eased to pounds 96.3m ( pounds 97.2m), and despite a pounds 2.1m provision for bad debts which arose from the reorganisation of Contimac, which forms part of its Power Transmission division. There was a pounds 795,000 profit on sale of two businesses. Earnings per share recovered to 0.65p (Lps 4.65p). The dividend payout is 0.5p.

Huntingdon International, the engineer and environmental services provider, edged ahead to pounds 989,000 ( pounds 984,000) pre-tax profit in the six months to 31 March. Earnings per share rose to 1p (0.9p). Dividend is held at 0.875p.