Company News in Brief

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Persimmon has raised pounds 10.56m from the placing of just over 4.6 million new ordinary shares at 230p per share. It will use the proceeds to buy more land for development.

Kynoch Group, which makes fabrics and rugs from natural fibres, turned in improved pre-tax profits of pounds 958,000 ( pounds 703,000) for the year to 31 August. No dividend.

Six months to 31 December

James Halstead, the mini industrial conglomerate with interests in floor coverings, leisure wear, clothing and motorcycle accessories, increased pre- tax profits to pounds 4m ( pounds 3.4m). Dividend is raised to 2.5p (2.25p).

Nesco Investments, the computer software supplier that also generates electricity in Nigeria, announced higher pre-tax profits of pounds 169,000 ( pounds 28,000). There is no dividend.

Tay Homes, the property builder and dealer, declined to pounds 1m ( pounds 1.8m) pre- tax profit. Dividend is held at 1.2p.

Year ended 31 December

Astec (BSR), the power conversion and electronic products maker, converted a pounds 4.8m loss into pounds 7.8m pre-tax profit on lower turnover of pounds 250.9m ( pounds 273m). No dividend.

Britannic Assurance, the life insurer, made pounds 23.7m ( pounds 24.7m) pre-tax profit. Final dividend is 23.25p, making 33.5p (29.5p).

Capital Industries, the packaging and financial services provider, rose to pounds 2.45m ( pounds 1.3m) pre-tax profit. Final dividend is 2.4p (2p).

Goal Petroleum eased to pounds 9m ( pounds 10.1m) pre-tax profit. Total dividend is 1.4p, up from 1.25p previously.