Company News in Brief

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API, the paper and packaging group, which last year fought off a hostile bid from NMC, has reversed losses of pounds 470,000 to pre- tax profits of pounds 3.85m in the year to 3 October. Final dividend is 4.45p (4p), making 7.5p (6.75p).

Hunter Saphir fell to pounds 1m ( pounds 1.8m) pre-tax in the six months to 31 August. Dividend is 0.5p (1p).

Year to 30 September

Johnson & Firth Brown, the engineer, declined to pounds 7.2m ( pounds 8.9m) pre-tax profit, hit by a 23 per cent rise in operating costs. A 2p final dividend keeps the total unchanged at 3p.

Eldridge Pope & Co, the brewer and wines and spirits merchant, achieved pounds 1.6m ( pounds 1.1m) pre-tax profit. Dividend is 3.25p (2.64p).

Widney, the engineering group, incured a pounds 316,000 ( pounds 512,000) pre- tax loss. No dividend.

AJ Archer Holdings, which manages underwriting and administration of 10 Lloyd's syndicates, fell to pounds 938,000 ( pounds 3.1m) pre-tax profit. Total dividend is held at 4.4p.

Lynx Holdings, which sells and fixes computer equipment, fell to pounds 115,000 ( pounds 224,000) pre-tax profit. Total dividend is 1p (1.25p).

Six months to 30 September

Stewart & Wight, the property investor, lifted pre-tax profits to pounds 183,000 ( pounds 173,000).

Eve Group, the construction company, rose to pounds 2.6m ( pounds 1.8m) pre- tax profit. Dividend is held at 2.7p.

Novo Group, the film distributor, lifted pre-tax profits to pounds 653,000 ( pounds 529,000). Dividend is 0.3p.

ERF Holdings, maker and supplier of commercial vehicles and parts, crashed from pounds 330,000 pre- tax profit to pounds 2.7m taxable loss.

Arlen, producer of fluorescent control gear and accessories, reversed a pounds 527,000 taxable loss to report pounds 150,000 pre-tax profit.

Fine Art Developments, maker of greeting cards, advanced to pounds 4.95m ( pounds 4.5m) pre-tax profit. Dividend is 3p (2.7p).

Fuller Smith & Turner improved pre-tax profits to pounds 3.8m ( pounds 3.6m). Interim dividend is 2.4p (2.25p).

London Merchant Securities, the property developer, maintained pre-tax profits at pounds 11.3m. Dividend is held at 0.8p.