Company News in Brief

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The Independent Online
Herring Baker Harris Group, the chartered surveyors, announced a near 10 per cent decline in pre-tax profits to pounds 1.63m ( pounds 1.81m) for the six months to 31 July. Despite a rise in turnover from pounds 6.6m to pounds 10.6m showing the increased size of the group following the Baker Harris Saunders/Herring Son & Daw merger in January, operating profits fell to pounds 1.59m ( pounds 1.7m). It held interim dividend at 3.25p.

Adscene Group more than doubled pre-tax profits from pounds 705,000 to pounds 1.6m in the year to 31 May on lower sales of pounds 15m ( pounds 17m). Final is 2.5p, making 4p (2p).

Half-year to 30 June

Home Counties Newspapers, which publishes weekly newspapers and makes bespoke envelopes, reported a drop in pre-tax profits to pounds 546,000 ( pounds 636,000). Interim dividend is held at 2.75p.

Bletchley Motor Group, the vehicle trader, hirer and repairer, lifted pre-tax profits to pounds 604,000 ( pounds 406,000). Interim dividend is raised to 4.4p (4.1p).

Estates and General, the property trader and developer, dived from pounds 1.5m pre-tax profit into pre-tax losses of pounds 9.4m. No dividend.

Gaskell, the carpets and non- woven products maker, made pounds 15,000 ( pounds 55,000) pre-tax profit. Interim dividend is 1.5p (3p).

Instem, the computer applications and systems company, lifted pre- tax profits from pounds 507,000 to pounds 551,000. Interim dividend is increased to 1.3p (1.2p).

Peek, which provides traffic and field data systems, declined from pounds 3m to pounds 2.8m pre-tax profit. Interim dividend is held at 1.05p.

Plantsbrook Group, the funeral services provider, advanced pre- tax profits to pounds 4.9m ( pounds 3.4m). Interim dividend held at 1p.

Record Holdings, maker of hand, bench and power tools, virtually halved pre-tax profits from pounds 1.6m to pounds 809,000. Interim dividend is held at 1.15p.

Ropner, the engineering, property and shipping company, fell from pounds 2.3m to pounds 1.7m pre-tax profit. Interim dividend is held at 3.5p.

Laserscan Holdings, maker of micrographic equipment and digital mapping systems, slumped to pounds 408,000 pre-tax loss (profit pounds 246,000). No dividend.