Company News in Brief

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Firstland Group, the USM-quoted oil and gas concern, is to buy a private packaging company in a pounds 4.8m reverse takeover. Firstland shares were suspended pending a further announcement.

Osprey Communications, the marketing services group, incurred pounds 336,000 pre-tax loss (profit pounds 868,000) in the year to 31 May. No dividend.

Half-year to 30 June

Usher-Walker, maker of printing inks and rollers, slumped to pounds 9,000 (pounds 217,000), hit by redundancy costs and stock write-offs. Interim dividend is held at 2p.

Starmin, maker of beverage cooling equipment and building materials, increased pre-tax profits from pounds 785,000 to pounds 1.35m. Dividend is held at 0.1p.

Golden Vale, the dairy products maker and distributor, achieved Ir pounds 7.8m (Ir pounds 7.3m) pre-tax profit. Interim dividend is 0.5p (0.42p).

Linton Park, the food production company, saw pre-tax profits decline to pounds 2.3m ( pounds 2.5m). Dividend is held at 2.5p.

New Scotland Insurance maintained pre-tax profits at pounds 1.9m. Interim dividend is 6p (5.5p).

Correction: Sharpe and Fisher, the building supplies company, climbed from pounds 436,000 taxable loss to make pounds 420,000 profit and not as reported yesterday.

Year ended 30 June

Trafford Park Estates advanced to pounds 3.6m ( pounds 3.3m) pre-tax profit on turnover of pounds 11.7m ( pounds 13.1m). Final dividend is 1.725p, making 2.575p (same).

Domestic & General Group, the insurance underwriter, lifted pre- tax profits to pounds 6.2m ( pounds 5m). Final dividend is 12p, making 18p (15p).

Cala, the house builder, slashed pre-tax losses from pounds 6.9m to pounds 980,000. Total dividend is cut from 3.4p to 2.3p.

John Haggas, the yarn spinner, boosted pre-tax profits from pounds 1.8m to pounds 2.9m. Final dividend is 2p, making a total unchanged at 3p.

Six months to 31 August

River & Mercantile American Trust's net asset values per capital and income shares are 30.6p (38.57p) and 68p (63.08p). Second interim dividend is 1.8p.

Martin Currie Pacific Trust's net asset value fell to 257.5p (291.4p).