Firm start at Forth Ports

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The Independent Online
SHARES IN Forth Ports, which was privatised in March at 110p a share, closed up 9p at 176p yesterday after its first set of interim results showed operating profits of pounds 5m, up 5 per cent, writes Topaz Amoore.

Turnover at the company, which handles dry and piped cargo and is the largest port operator in Scotland, was up 7.5 per cent to pounds 16.5m in the six months to 28 June. Tonnage handling was lower than in 1991 but William Thomson, chairman, said more gas had been handled, bringing in greater revenues than crude oil. A fall in tonnages at its Hound Point oil terminal was offset by higher levels at the Braefoot Bay terminal.

The repayment of a government debt on flotation brought an extraordinary below-the-line credit of pounds 1.2m. Comparable earnings per share were 9.5p and the interim dividend is 2p.