Company News in Brief

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The Independent Online
Copymore, the office equipment supplier, increased pre-tax profits from pounds 506,000 to pounds 758,000 in the half-year to 30 June, on sales up from pounds 14.85m to pounds 17.1m. Earnings per share were 4.5p (3p). The interim dividend rose sharply to 2.5p (1p). Stephen Matthews is stepping down as chairman.

Finsbury Underwriting IT, a new investment trust, is to be launched to take advantage of new rules allowing limited-liability corporate entities to underwrite at Lloyd's. The investment portfolio is to be managed by Finsbury Asset Management. Finsbury Underwriting Investment Trust will deliberately limit its size to pounds 35m with the intention of underwriting up to an overall premium limit of pounds 60m.

Hibernian Group, the composite insurer based in Dublin, yesterday revealed an improvement in pre-tax profits from Ir pounds 8.65m to Ir pounds 8.85m for the half-year to 30 June. Earnings per share rose to Ir11.3p (Ir11p), while the dividend for the period was raised to Ir2.3p (Ir2.1p).

Caverdale Group said it has made an offer of 73p per share, worth pounds 864,000 in cash, to buy Parts Limited, a supplier of engineers' and motor trade consumable supplies.

Greenacre Group, the nursing home operator, has bought Clare Hall Nursing Home, near Bath, for pounds 2.1m in cash.