Company News in Brief

Sycamore Holdings, which makes foundry products and furniture for domestic, office and hospital use, slumped from pounds 314,000 pre-tax profit to pounds 3.8m taxable loss for the six months to 31 March. Turnover improved to pounds 11.1m (pounds 9.7m) but failed to generate a trading profit. Operating losses widened to pounds 3.4m (profit pounds 544,000) after a revaluation of stock and operations by new management found discrepancies resulting in a pounds 1.9m exceptional charge. Interest charged rose to pounds 361,000 (pounds 230,000). Loss per share was 4.07p (EPS 0.29p). Since March staff levels have been cut by 30 per cent. Sycamore realised pounds 2.7m from the sale in April and June of Ashworth Instrumentation and Ashworth Diecastings.