Company News in Brief

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Reed Executive, the employment agent, reduced pre-tax losses from pounds 7.9m to pounds 7.3m in the year to 31 March on turnover of pounds 82.3m (pounds 87.8m). Loss per share is 11.2p (12.9p). No dividend.

Usborne, the grain merchant, pig farmer and motor products group, made pounds 887,000 pre-tax profit (loss pounds 239,000) on turnover of pounds 108.6m for six months to 31 December. Earnings per share 0.88p. Interim dividend 2p.

VTR fell to pounds 202,000 (pounds 276,000) pre-tax profit in the six months to 28 February. Earnings per share eased to 1.7p (2.4p). Interim dividend held at 1.2p.

Berry Starquest lifted the total dividend to 2.2p (2p) for the year to 31 January. Net asset value per share declined to 170.7p (181.2p).

Jove Investments is paying a final dividend of 2.8p, making 5.6p (5.4p) for the year to 28 February. Net asset value per income and capital share are 51.84p (51.5p) and 38.38p (29.04p) respectively.

Six months to 31 March

British Assets Trust is paying 2.14p (2.08p) dividend. Net asset value per share grew to 105.9p (84.4p).

Investors Capital Trust has declared a 1.275p quarterly dividend, making 2.55p (same). Net asset value per share improved to 132p (103.1p).

Year ended 31 December

Lendu Holdings boosted pre-tax profits from pounds 51,000 to pounds 997,000. Turnover was pounds 1.1m (pounds 525,000). Earnings per share are 7.77p (0.51p). No dividend.

Joseph Holt lifted pre-tax profits to pounds 7m (pounds 6.4m). Earnings per share are 154.5p (136.0p). Final dividend is 31p, making 41p (35p).

Linton Park, the food and plantations agent, reported a sharp turnaround from pounds 1.2m taxable loss to pounds 7.65m pre-tax profit. Earnings per share are 31.8p (loss 17.3p). Final dividend is 11.5p, making 14p (13p).

Capital & Regional Properties achieved higher pre-tax profits of pounds 422,000 (pounds 367,000). Earnings per share fell to 0.41p (1.26p). Total dividend was up 10 per cent to 1.1p (1p).