Dawson plunges into loss and calls for cash injection

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The Independent Online
DAWSON International, the Pringle and Ballantyne textiles company, has asked shareholders to stump up pounds 45m after plunging to a pre-tax loss of pounds 95m in the year to March compared with a profit of pounds 32m in the previous year, writes Robert Cole.

The loss followed the closure of the group's US subsidiaries. Investors were warned in March that the loss-making fleece and jersey businesses might be closed at a cost of pounds 38m. Dawson said yesterday the sale of Dawson Home Fashions, a US shower curtain maker, required a further provision of pounds 12m. If no buyer can be found, the pounds 12m will be used to restructure DHF into a profitable concern.

The company said that John Embrey, the finance director, would retire in July 1995. Nick Kuenssberg, formerly the head of Dawson's UK-based companies, has taken over as the group managing director.

Operating profits from continued operations, excluding Dawson Home fashions, increased to pounds 41.1m, from pounds 35.2m last time. The loss per share was 64.6p, compared with earnings of 13.3p previously. However, Dawson said earnings adjusted to disregard the three discontinued businesses were 14.1p, up from 12.7p.

The one-for-four cash call is underwritten and pitched at 120p a share - a 16 per cent discount to yesterday's opening price of 144p. The shares closed at 150p on hopes that the worst was over.

As foreshadowed in March the total dividend was cut to 3p from 9p. Sir Ronald Miller, chairman, said the interim payment this year would be at least 1.5p.

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