Company News in Brief

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John Foster & Son, textile spinner, sank further from pounds 381,000 to pounds 5.1m taxable loss in the year to 28 February. Total dividend is 0.67p.

Hardys & Hansons, the brewer and wines and spirits merchant, rose from pounds 3.2m to pounds 3.3m pre-tax profit in 26 weeks to 31 March. Earnings per share 8.975p (8.74p). Dividend 3p (2.8p).

Year to 31 March

Bristol Water Holdings made pounds 6.8m ( pounds 5.2m) pre-tax profit. Earnings per share improved to 82p (68.9p). Final dividend is 20.7p, making 31p (28p).

BTP, chemicals and compounds manufacturer, increased pre-tax profits to pounds 20.5m ( pounds 18.2m). Earnings per share fell to 14.13p (14.81p). Total dividend is raised to 9.3p (8.85p).

ERF Holdings, the motors and parts maker, ran up further taxable losses from pounds 613,000 to pounds 4.1m. Final dividend is 2p, making 2p (4p).

Kewill Systems, software and hardware computer services provider, declined sharply to pounds 435,000 ( pounds 2.4m) pre-tax profit. Loss per share 0.6p (earnings 19.91p). No dividend.

NMC Group Holdings, the paper, plastic packaging and printing group, achieved better pre-tax profits of pounds 7.1m ( pounds 5m). Earnings per share were 6.15p (2.76p). Final dividend is 1.5p, making 2p (1.25p).

Year to 30 April

Learmonth & Burchett Management Systems, computer systems consultant, sharply increased pre-tax profit to pounds 1.6m ( pounds 303,000). Earnings per share grew to 827p (178p). Total dividend is 0.75p.

Westport Group, which provides photographic and retail market services, slumped to pounds 8,000 ( pounds 1.25m) pre- tax profit. Earnings per share fell to 0.14p (0.6p). No dividend.

Six months to 30 April

Quality Care Homes, provider of care facilities for the elderly, lifted pre-tax profits to pounds 1.5m ( pounds 835,000). Earnings per share 7.67p (6p). Dividend is 1.5p (0.15p).

Shoprite Group rose from pounds 1m to pounds 1.7m pre-tax profit. Earnings per share were 1.91p (1.27p). Dividend is 0.6p (0.4p).