Company News in Brief

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The Independent Online
Paramount, the licensed premises owner and developer, increased pre-tax profits to pounds 261,000 ( pounds 256,000) in the six months to 30 November, despite an 18 per cent decline in turnover to pounds 2.7m ( pounds 3.25m). No dividend.

William Sinclair Holdings, the horticultural, pet and acquatic products manufacturer, revealed lower pre-tax profits of pounds 1.4m ( pounds 1.7m) for the six months to 31 December. Turnover edged ahead slightly to pounds 16.6m ( pounds 16.3m), but trading profits declined to pounds 1.2m ( pounds 1.4m), checked by the seasonal pattern of the business, which tends to move sales and profits into the second half of the financial year. Interim dividend is maintained at 1.7p.

Year ended 31 December

Burnfield, which makes electric heating surfaces and controls for industrial use, more than doubled pre-tax profits from pounds 1.2m to pounds 2.7m. Turnover grew to pounds 29.8m ( pounds 20.6m). As a net exporter from the UK, the company said it stood to benefit from the devaluation of sterling, but felt that demand could be dampened by the lack of a sustained recovery in the UK. Final dividend is 4.1p, making 5.75p (same).

J Billam, which provides engineering services for the aircraft and motor industries, advanced to pounds 479,000 ( pounds 306,000) pre-tax profit on increased turnover of pounds 6m ( pounds 5.85m). Earnings per share rose from 13.3p to 20.1p. A 3.1p final dividend pushed up the total payout to 5p (4.28p).

Instem, the electronics and information management group, declared a 1.8p final dividend, making a total of 3.1p (3p), despite a fall in pre-tax profits to pounds 575,000 ( pounds 1m). Turnover eased to pounds 14.3m ( pounds 15.8m).

Vivat Holdings, the casual wear manufacturer and retailer, boosted pre-tax profits from pounds 678,000 to pounds 3m. Having passed on the previous year's dividend it has now declared a 1p payout.

Baltic, the property developer and finance company, slumped from pounds 9.1m profit to pounds 6.5m taxable loss. Turnover fell to pounds 35.5m ( pounds 38.5m). Final dividend is 0.5p, making 1p.