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Company News in Brief

Gardiner Group, the electronic security and fire surveillance systems supplier, cut the interim dividend by 51 per cent, though pre-tax profits had sharply risen to pounds 1.85m ( pounds 839,000) in the six months to 30 April. The improvement was achieved in the absence of restructuring costs amounting to pounds 479,000 (pre-FRS3) and lower interest charges resulting from a combination of lower UK base rates and reduced group debt. Earnings per share rose to 1.15p (0.54p).

Arthur Lee & Sons, which makes steel and plastic products, almost quadrupled pre-tax profits from pounds 604,000 to pounds 2.3m in the six months to 31 March. Earnings per share improved from 1.28p to 5.13p. Interim dividend is raised to 4p (1.65p).

Year to 31 March

Creighton's Naturally, toiletries, soaps and fragrances manufacturer, lifted pre-tax profits from pounds 934,000 to pounds 1m, though sales declined to pounds 8.5m ( pounds 10.2m). Earnings per share are 13.9p (13.1p). Total dividend rose to 7.3p (7p).

Scott Pickford, which provides geological and computer services to exploration industries, fell to pounds 231,000 ( pounds 404,000) pre-tax profit. Earnings per share were cut to 0.93p (3.79p). Total dividend maintained at 0.8p.