Dunton rises as losses are shaved

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The Independent Online
SHARES in the penny stock Dunton Group surged ahead 50 per cent to 1.5p yesterday after the bricks manufacturer and property developer slashed its taxable losses from pounds 4.5m to pounds 803,000 for the year to 31 May, writes Neil Thapar.

The result, achieved on a decline in turnover from pounds 3.2m to pounds 2.7m, reflects a turnaround from operating losses of pounds 2.5m to a pounds 676,000 profit last year.

However, an interest bill of pounds 1.5m, against pounds 1.71m, pushed the group into the red before tax.

The loss per share has been reduced from 7.74p to 1.01p. The company is passing the dividend for the second year running.

Dunton, which was the subject of a reverse takeover in March 1991, said that trading conditions continued to be tough and until there was an economic recovery it was likely to remain unprofitable.

The group received a tax credit of pounds 306,000 - compared with a pounds 102,000 credit in 1991 - which helped to cut the group's retained loss from pounds 3.7m to pounds 484,000.

Clive Travers, chairman, said that the brick-making operations had been cash-generative throughout the year, although output levels were substantially below plant capacity.

'Whilst the property market remains extremely difficult we have continued to achieve sales at or above book value and we have let our shop units and four out of six offices at Leighton Buzzard. The directors continue to be cautious in current conditions.'