Company News in Brief

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Carclo Engineering has bought just over 3.5 million shares and agreed to buy a further 3.86 million shares in Arthur Lee from a subsidiary of GM Firth Holdings at 80p per share, for pounds 5.9m. On completion of both purchases, Carclo will be the holder of just over 10 million shares in Arthur Lee, representing 29.99 per cent of Arthur Lee's issued share capital.

Scapa Group, the industrial materials firm, said it is in talks with the administrators of F Oberdorfer, a German maker of forming fabrics for the paper industry, that could lead to the acquisition of Oberdorfer's assets.

Wiltshire Brewery's chairman, Graham Axford, said the group was still making losses in the current financial year due to the high interest charges. However, as a result of the transfer of most of the group's loss-making managed houses to tenancies and strict cash management procedures, the group is trading profitably at an operating level. It incurred pounds 1.4m (pounds 578,000) pre-tax loss in the 14 months to 30 November.

Downibrae Holdings, maker of steel profiles and pipe flanges, fell to pounds 152,000 ( pounds 241,000) pre-tax profit in the half-year to 30 June. Turnover improved slightly to pounds 822,000 ( pounds 808,000). Earnings per share fell to 0.7p (1.07p). No dividend.

Conrad Continental, designer and retailer of leather clothing and a leisure company, reduced pre-tax losses from pounds 297,000 to pounds 398,000 in the half-year to 30 June, despite a sharp cut in sales from pounds 4.6m to pounds 2.8m. No dividend.

GR Holdings, the textiles concern, fell to pounds 549,000 ( pounds 1.6m) pre-tax profit in the year to 30 June. Final dividend is 1.6p, making 2.7p (2.15p).

Jarvis, the building and civil engineering contractor, plunged to pounds 1.7m taxable loss (profit pounds 71,000) in the half-year to June. No dividend (0.25p).

Bridgend Group, the industrial holding company, fell to pounds 295,000 ( pounds 403,000) pre-tax profit in the half-year to 30 June. Interim dividend is reduced to 0.2p (0.4p).