Company News in Brief

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Six months to 30 September

Barrow Hepburn Group, the leather, adhesives and coatings maker, eased back from pounds 4.8m to pounds 4.5m pre-tax profit. The results suffered from a sharp increase in interest charges from pounds 169,000 to pounds 1.4m. Operating profits were pounds 5.9m ( pounds 5m) on turnover of pounds 61.3 ( pounds 51.6m). No dividend.

Eliza Tinsley, the hardware products maker and distributor reported a sharp increase in pre-tax profits from pounds 287,000 to pounds 408,000, despite a slight fall in turnover from pounds 7.7m to pounds 7.5m. The benefits of reorganisation last year and earlier this year at two of its subsidiaries, including redundancies, contributed to an improvement in earnings per share to 3.57p (2.5p). The dividend is held at 1.8p.

Southend Property Holdings, the property trader and developer which failed last year in its bid to acquire Frogmore Estates, virtually maintained pre-tax profits at pounds 1.3m, helped by succesful property sales and interest income. Earnings per share fell from pounds 1.13p to 0.72p. Interim dividend is raised from 1.45p to 1.52p.

Pelican Group, the restaurant and wine bar operator, more than tripled pre-tax profits from pounds 131,000 to pounds 357,000 on a 35 per cent increase in turnover to pounds 3.8m ( pounds 2.8m). The company said customer loyalty and the relatively low cost of opening new outlets were the main reasons for the rise in profits. Earnings per share rose to 1.9p (1.1p), but no dividend was declared for the period.

Year to 30 September

Polar, the USM-quoted distributor of electronic components, returned a slight fall in pre-tax profits from pounds 917,000 to pounds 902,000. Turnover rose to pounds 17.4m ( pounds 15.4m) for the third year running. Earnings per share were cut to 7.3p (7.4p), but a 2.5p final payout kept the total dividend unchanged at 4.5p.

Richards, which makes tufted carpets, linen cloth, handkerchiefs, knitwear and shirts, announced a sharp fall from pounds 434,000 pre-tax profit to losses of pounds 125,000. Turnover eased to pounds 72m ( pounds 72.5m). The final dividend is 2.93p, making a total unchanged at 4p.