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The Independent Online
Druck Holdings, the USM-quoted company that makes and sells electronic pressure devices, revealed an increase in profits before tax from £2.1m to £2.6m for the six months to 30 September.

A 15 per cent rise in turnover to £16.9m was helped by the acquisition in June of Unomat, a company based in the Netherlands that makes calibrators for measuring temperature. Unomat was bought for £3m cash to complement Druck's pressure calibrator operation. Unomat contributed £150,000 to profits in the three months to 30 September.

John Salmon, chairman, said that the second half had started with orders well ahead of the previous year. He cited a recent contract from the Royal Air Force to provide data test sets for its aircraft.

Included in the orders were an increase in exports to Japan, the United States and Europe. Earnings per share improved to 26.1p (20.8p), while the interim dividend was increased from 3.7p to 4.1p.

Premier Consolidated Oilfields and Amerada Hess have made a "commercial" oil find in the most southern part of the central North Sea, one mile from the line that separates the UK section from that of Denmark.

The companies, which plan additional tests over the coming months, say that the field could be exploited through a subsea link to the nearby Fife field. A spokeman for Amerada Hess said that the region where the new field lies has been made more economicby the advance of floating production technology.

The fields are smaller than those in the northern part of the North Sea and not as close to the main infrastructure.