Company News in Brief

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Hewitt Group, the refractory products manufacturer, increased pre-tax profits by a third to pounds 832,000 ( pounds 625,000) for the year ended 31 December. The company said business suffered after the election due to the deterioration in the economy but witnessed increased orders in the fourth quarter, partly because of sterling's devaluation. Final dividend is 1.75p, making 3p (2.5p).

Allied Radio, which operates local radio stations in Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire, recorded taxable losses of pounds 1.7m (loss pounds 1.6m) for the year (nine months) to 30 September. No dividend.

TR European Growth Trust said that despite a fall in most Continental markets, the weakness of sterling during the last quarter of 1992 boosted the return to UK investors. Net asset value per share grew from 94p to 99.2p.

Murray Income Trust's net asset value per share increased from 260.2p to 293.6p. The company cited Britain's withdrawal from the ERM, which helped the performance of its overseas investment (25 per cent), and a good performance by equities as interest rates fell during the last quarter of 1992. It has forecast an increase in this year's dividend to 4.15p (4p).

American Trust, which invests mainly in American equities, saw its net asset value rise by 26 per cent from 210.3p to 265.2p in the year to 31 January, due to the fall in the value of sterling against the dollar. Final dividend is 3.4p, making 4.9p (4.8p).

M&G Recovery Investment Trust, which was introduced to the market last April, declared a 1p dividend for the nine months to 31 December. Net asset value stood at 46.43p per share.

Pacific Assets Trust lifted the dividend payout for the year to 31 January to 1.1p (1p). Net asset value per share is 350.8p.

European Smaller Companies' net asset value per share stood at 104.5p at the end of the 24 weeks to 31 December. No dividend.

Henderson Eurotrust, introduced in July, is paying 1.5p dividend for the seven months to 31 December. Net asset value per share is 97.6p.

Multitrust's net asset value per share slipped to 35.25p (35.64p), but it declared an interim payout of 1.5p for the six months to 31 December.

River & Mercantile Smaller Companies Trust maintained the dividend payout at 1.25p for the six months to 31 January. Net asset value per share improved to 116.75p (107.7p).

Scottish Eastern Investment Trust declared a final dividend of 1.02p, making 1.52p (1.42p) for the year to 31 January. Net asset value per share rose to 79.2p (69.5p).

Shires High Yield, introduced at the end of August, is paying a quarterly dividend of 2.2p. The net asset value per share stood at 111.5p.

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