Company News in Brief

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The Independent Online
Seacon Holdings, the ship owner- operator and hotelier involved in cargo handling and storage, lifted pre-tax profits from pounds 1.7m to pounds 2.3m in the year to 30 September. Turnover rose slightly to pounds 18.8m ( pounds 17.7m).

It reported an increase in tonnage handled through its cargo division. A steady exchange rate between sterling and the German mark and the steady decline in fuel prices aided the overall performance.

But Seacon was quick to point out a marginal decline in first- quarter trading, for which it blames bad weather conditions last October and in January, even though it normally operates in sheltered waters. Final dividend is 3.1p, making 5.1p (4.2p).

Castle Cairn Investment Trust increased the dividend payout for the year ended 31 December from 0.75p to 0.85p. Net asset value per share over the period rose 14 per cent to 49.78p (43.58p). The company said it was looking foward to the year with mild optimism on the expectation that low inflation will aid growth.