Company News in Brief

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Downiebrae Holdings has agreed to buy GBE International, an engineering company, in a pounds 22m reverse takeover. When the acquisition is completed Downiebrae will be renamed GBE International.

Thomas French & Sons increased pre-tax profits from pounds 299,000 to pounds 725,000 in the six months to 3 April assisted by a good contribution from British Tapes, which it bought last June. Earnings per share 3.99p (1.47p). Dividend held at 1.45p.

Year ended 31 December

Bertam Holdings, the palm oil, rubber and property group based in Malaysia, boosted pre-tax profits from pounds 1.9m to pounds 7.2m. Total dividend is 5p.

Rowe Evans Investments, the palm oil and rubber plantation firm based in Indonesia, sharply increased pre- tax profits from pounds 1.9m to pounds 6.1m. Total dividend is 2p (1p).

Six months to 28 February

ABI Leisure edged pre-tax profits ahead to pounds 1.27m ( pounds 1.25m). Earnings per share are 3.1p (3p). The dividend is 1.25p.

Bett Brothers, property developer, reversed pounds 9.9m taxable loss to make pounds 551,000 pre-tax profit. Earnings per share 3.7p (loss 66.2p). Dividend is 0.5p.

Correction: SW Wood is a printing and publishing group and not as previously stated in this section.