Company News in Brief

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Savills, the estate agent, returned to profit in the six months to 31 October with a taxable figure of pounds 163,000 against losses of pounds 762,000 last time. Earnings per share were 0.03p against losses of 1.7p, but there is still no dividend. However, Aubrey Adams, managing director, said Savills would like to pay one at the year-end. Cost cuts of pounds 862,000 were made in the half- year, mostly from staff reductions. Savills has gone from 750 staff at its peak two-and-a-half years ago to 530.

Abbey, the housebuilder, reported a pre-tax profit of Ir pounds 501,000 in the six months to 31 October (Ir pounds 367,000). However, earnings per share fell from 0.63p to 0.43p. The pre-tax figure was struck after a Ir pounds 1m interim provision for a write-down of group properties and land at the year-end.

Reg Vardy, the motor dealer, reported a profit before tax of pounds 1.86m in the six months to 31 October. This compared with pounds 2.02m last time. Earnings per share fell from 4.22p to 3.01p but the interim dividend is held at 1.3p.