The improvement in the six months to 31 July was helped by the disposal last December of the loss-making Falcon bicycle business. However, Elswick also increased market share in its core areas, said David Cross, chief executive. Elswick is rumoured to be on the verge of announcing an acquisition of a printing business, but Mr Cross refused to discuss the possibility yesterday.
He said gearing, which in January stood at 124 per cent, would be brought down to 90 per cent by the end of the year.
Mitchel Teager, of the company's broker Albert E Sharp, said the results were better than expected and he forecast full-year profits of pounds 2.6m. The interim dividend is 0.15p, and he predicted 0.40p (0.22p) for the year. Earnings per share increased 62 per cent to 0.63pReuse content