Company News in Brief

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Paterson Zochonis, the soaps, toiletries and pharmaceutical products maker, lifted pre-tax profits to pounds 12.9m ( pounds 11.6m) in the six months to 30 November on improved turnover of pounds 121.8m ( pounds 113.8m). Interim dividend is raised to 2.35p (2.25p).

Teredo Petroleum, the oil and gas exploration company, made pounds 20,000 pre-tax profit (loss pounds 228,000) in the year to 30 September. No dividend.

River and Mercantile American Capital and Income Trust is paying a 2.4p final dividend, making the total for the year to 28 February of 7.8p. Net asset value per capital and income share are 29.34p and 70.59p respectively.

Year ended 31 December

Hall Engineering, the UK and overseas group, recorded a pounds 3.7m ( pounds 5.1m) pre-tax profit. Turnover fell to pounds 135.7m ( pounds 147.4m). Total dividend is maintained at 8.64p.

Hampden Homecare, the do-it- yourself and home improvement products retailer, declined from pounds 1.3m to pounds 482,000. Sales improved to pounds 29.8m ( pounds 26.1m). Final dividend is 0.8p, making 1p (2p).

Lionheart, maker of retail display systems and consumer products, reported lower pre-tax profits of pounds 870,000 ( pounds 2.4m), despite a 23 per cent rise in turnover to pounds 43.6m. It passed on the final dividend, making a total of 0.2p (0.3p).

Law Debenture Corp, the investment trust and corporate trustee, increased the final dividend to 12p (11.5p) for a total of 18.25p (17.5p). Net asset value per share at 31 December stood at 514p (426.3p).

Six months to 31 December

Cala, the housebuilder and property developer, reported worsened pre-tax losses of pounds 2.85m ( pounds 1.6m). Turnover fell to pounds 20.6m ( pounds 27.3m). Interim dividend is cut to 0.75p (1.15p).

Scholes Group, the electrical equipment and products maker, increased pre-tax profits by 44 per cent to pounds 1.3m ( pounds 900,000) on a marginal rise in turnover to pounds 29.7m ( pounds 29.5m). Interim dividend is held at 1.6p.