CRT payout up as trading improves

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The Independent Online
THE TRAINING Group CRT is boosting its total dividend by 17 per cent to 2.8p despite almost halved taxable profits for the year to 30 April, writes Neil Thapar.

The pre-tax surplus slumped from pounds 6.2m to pounds 3.3m on sales up from pounds 43.5m to pounds 47m. Earnings per share amounted to 6.5p against 9.3p, but the company said the payout had been increased because of improving trading in the current year.

Last year's results were hit by a drastic reorganisation at CRT's recruitment and employee consultancy business, which led to an exceptional charge of pounds 1.3m.

Operating profits from the core training business fell from pounds 6.3m to pounds 4.5m due to heavy expansion. A jump in employee numbers by almost 100, to 850, reduced margins by about 10 points to 20 per cent.

However, Karl Chapman, chief executive, said the spending would bring long-term benefits to the group. City analysts expect taxable profits to increase to pounds 5.5m this year.