Gearing at Blick up on acquisition

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The Independent Online
BLICK, the time recording and communications equipment company, has completed the acquisition of Mercury Communications' Time & Security business, which is now fully operational, according to the managing director Ian Scott-Gall, writes Rupert Bruce.

Blick's gearing is about 175 per cent following the acquisition but should fall sharply early next year as annual rental payments come in, only to rise throughout the rest of the year. Under present cash planning Blick expects to reduce gearing to zero by the end of 1995.

Profit before tax rose 9.7 per cent to pounds 9.4m in the year to 30 September as cost was taken out of the group's businesses, the benefit of the growing rental base continued to show, and the net profit from acquisitions contributed.

Earnings per share rose 4.1 per cent to 27.06p. The dividend was lifted 10.9 per cent to 10.2p.

The workforce of 617 compared with 656 previously. With the acquisition of Time & Security, the number of workers will rise towards 800 as Blick employs more engineers.

Mr Scott-Gall said the contribution from acquisitions was disappointing because their client bases were smaller than expected.

Blick has already contacted Time & Security's 18,500 customers - all rental - and hopes to sell some of them equipment.

The shares fell 5p to 440p.