Company News in Brief

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The Independent Online
BM Group, the highly indebted maker of construction and building equipment and engineering products, has agreed to sell its 51 per cent stake in Blackwood Hodge Australia for about pounds 6.4m, the latest in a string of disposals. The sale is expected to reduce BM's borrowing by pounds 7.1m.

Clayhithe, which provides finance and management to developing companies, maintained the half-year dividend at 0.75p, following a sharp reduction in pre-tax losses from pounds 1.1m to pounds 210,000 in the six months to 30 September. Turnover eased to pounds 16.2m (pounds 16.5m). Loss per share was cut to 3.3p (9.6p).

Cantors, the furniture, carpets and bedding retailer, boosted pre-tax profits threefold to pounds 563,000 (pounds 175,000) in the six months to 31 October. Sales rose to pounds 29.8m (pounds 28.7m). Earnings per share are 2.42p (0.76p). Interim dividend held at 1p.

Willoughby's Consolidated, the mining and ranching company based in Zimbabwe, returned pounds 1.6m (pounds 1.8m) pre-tax profit for the year to 30 September. Earnings per share fell to 14.8p (16.2p). Final dividend 1p (1.5p), making a reduced total of 1.5p (2.5p)