Company News in Brief

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The Independent Online
Cantors, the traditional furniture retailer, dipped into reserves to maintain its interim dividend at 1p and said it had no intention of cutting the 3p final payout.

Pre-tax profits fell from pounds 206,000 to pounds 175,000 in the 26 weeks to 24 October. Group sales fell 5 per cent to pounds 28.7m. Cantors enfranchised its non-voting shares last month, cutting the family's 70 per cent control to about 40 per cent, or closer to 50 per cent including friends and distant family.

John D Wood, the estate agent, cut its losses to pounds 77,000 ( pounds 194,000) in the six months to 31 October. It said there had been no increase in turnover despite the cuts in interest rates, although there had been increased activity in the company's offices since the beginning of 1993.

Reject Shop saw pre-tax losses grow to pounds 884,000 ( pounds 587,000) in the 28 weeks to 27 September. The loss per share was 6.01p (3.97p loss). The interim dividend was cut to 0.5p from 1.05p.

Lister's pre-tax loss rose to pounds 1.62m ( pounds 1.39m) after an exceptional loss of pounds 747,000 (nil) in the six months to 26 September. No interim dividend. Loss per share 9.97p (loss 8.52p).

Dale Electric improved pre-tax profits to pounds 544,000 ( pounds 497,000) in the six months to 1 November. The interim dividend was held at 2p. Earnings per share were 3.02p (2.79p).

Murray Smaller Markets Trust has raised its interim dividend to 1.35p (1.25p) and increased net asset value to 302.7p (271.2p) at 30 November.

Heritage returned to the black by producing pre-tax profits of pounds 53,000 ( pounds 96,000 loss) in the six months to 31 October. The firm's earnings per share were 0.98p (loss 1.78p).