Company News in Brief

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Inspirations, the tour operator that floated on the USM last December, yesterday reported a reduction in taxable losses from pounds 1.4m to pounds 970,000 for the six months to 31 March. Turnover was pounds 23.9m ( pounds 14.9m). Loss per share was cut to 2.8p (4p). Interim dividend is 0.56p. The shares, which were floated at 100p, gained 2p to 125p.

Unipalm, which specialises in software connecting subscribers to Internet, made pounds 272,000 before tax in the year to 30 April. Turnover rose 28 per cent to pounds 10.8m. Profits fell from pounds 605,000 last year because of higher spending on marketing by Pipex, Unipalm's Internet subsidiary. Pipex made losses of pounds 444,000, offset by profits of pounds 716,000 elsewhere in the group. Earnings per share fell from 2.9p to 0.89p.

Leslie Wise, the textiles merchants and womenswear maker, virtually maintained pre-tax profits at just over pounds 1.2m for the six months to 31 May. Turnover rose from pounds 22.6m to pounds 26.7m. Earnings per share were unchanged at 2.38p, as was the dividend for the half year at 1.75p.