Company News in Brief

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EIS Group, the specialist engineer, is raising pounds 24m through a rights issue, two years after it last came to the market for cash. Pre-tax profits rose 6 per cent last year to pounds 15.1m but earnings per share slipped from 28.2p to 27.3p. A final dividend of 8.8p makes 12p, a 2.3 per cent increase.

Bodycote International, the metal technology, packaging and industrial protective clothing manufacturer, lifted pre-tax profits from pounds 11.5m to pounds 13.6m in 1992. Turnover rose 21 per cent to pounds 80.3m ( pounds 66.5m). Earnings per share are 31.7p (27.8p). Final dividend is 6.25p, making 10p (9.25p).

Freeman Group, which provides distribution and contracting services for the building industry, increased pre- tax profits from pounds 342,000 to pounds 874,000 in 1992. Excluding pounds 18m for discontinued activities, turnover rose 9 per cent from pounds 56m ( pounds 74m) to pounds 61m. It made earnings per share of 7.8p compared with a loss per share of 0.6p previously. The final dividend is 3p, making 5p (3p).

British Fittings, the Birmingham pipe and valve supplier, made an operating profit of pounds 1m in 1992 ( pounds 300,000 loss) and is paying a final dividend of 1p, making 1.5p (5.375p). Pre-tax losses fell to pounds 1.4m ( pounds 3.6m).

Ropner, the engineering, property investment and shipping conglomerate, saw pre-tax profits fall to pounds 3.8m ( pounds 5.3m) for the year ended 31 December on turnover up from pounds 14.6m to pounds 15.5m. Earnings per share are 11p (15.8p). Final dividend is 4.75p, making an unchanged 8.25p total.

Shani Group, the children's and women's clothes manufacturer and supplier, lifted pre-tax profits from pounds 770,000 to pounds 1.3m in the six months to 31 January after turnover more than doubled from pounds 5.1m to pounds 11.5m. Earnings per share improved to 6.3p (3.6p). Interim dividend is raised to 1.8p (1.6p).