Company News in Brief

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Darby Group, maker and supplier of glass products, slumped from pounds 1.5m to pounds 290,000 pre-tax profit for the year to 28 February, hit by reduced demand from the recession-scarred construction industry. The group said it had a stable order book, but that the economy in France showed no signs of improving. It was also having problems with the French workforce. Turnover improved to pounds 17.9m ( pounds 15.1m). Final dividend is 0.8p, making 2p (3.3p).

Porth Group, the Christmas decoration maker, incurred pre-tax losses of pounds 1.8m (profit pounds 1.8m) in the half-year to 30 June. The company said the losses were expected, since most of its profits were generated in the second half. No dividend.

DC Cook Holdings, the car retailer and property investment company, climbed from pounds 1.5m pre-tax loss to report pounds 121,000 pre- tax profit for the year to 30 April. Final dividend is 0.3p, making 0.5p (1p).

Sumit, provider of venture capital to unquoted companies, fell to pounds 33,000 ( pounds 111,000) pre-tax proifit in the six months to 30 June. No dividend.

Murray International Trust said a further reduction in its exposure to the US and Hong Kong in the last six months resulted in a 4.3 per cent build-up of cash reserves. Net asset value per share eased to 248.71p (254.34p). It is paying an interim dividend of 2.6p.

TR European Growth Trust's net asset value declined from 106.3p to 97.88p as at 30 June. Interim dividend is raised to 1.35p (1p) for the six months to end-June. The company said the high interest rate policy across Europe had hit investor confidence, but it believed rates would fall next year.

EFT Group, provider of financial services, remained cautiously optimistic after a rise in pre-tax profits to pounds 706,000 ( pounds 510,000) was achieved against a background of weak demand for capital investment by businesses. Interim dividend is increased to 0.4p (0.33p).

River & Mercantile Smaller Companies Trust is paying a final dividend of 2.65p (2.5p) plus a special dividend of 0.37p. Net asset value is 99.27p (105.53p).