Dale shares slip back on interim loss

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The Independent Online
LOWER turnover, pre-tax losses and a halved interim dividend took shares in Dale Electric down 2p to 79p, writes Diane Coyle.

The power equipment manufacturer lost pounds 933,000 in the six months to 31 October, against profits of pounds 544,000 in the first half of the previous year. Turnover on continuing operations fell 28 per cent to pounds 19.1m.

The company said it had now achieved cost savings of pounds 1.1m a year on overheads, and the order book had climbed to pounds 26m from pounds 16m last year. Orders can be lumpy since four-fifths of turnover is project- related.

Airport orders for generators were strong because of an upturn in worldwide investment in airport infrastructure. A rising proportion of the order book is for high-margin customised products.

Iain Dale, chairman, said: 'We have reported on the black clouds, but I can see blue skies ahead.'

Pre-tax profits for the full year are forecast at pounds 500,000 by the stockbroker Albert E Sharp, with earnings per share of 2.7p.