Heritage share dealings suspended

Heritage, a supplier of housewares to retailers and wholesalers, asked for its shares to be suspended yesterday pending clarification of its financial position. The group, which in November appointed former Woolworths managing director Jonathan Weeks to its board, is not due to report its annual results until October or November.

The 23p suspension price compares with the 95p at which the shares were launched on the Unlisted Securities Market in 1988 and a peak of 185p later that year. They have fallen steadily from a recent high of 108p reached in early 1994, culminating in a loss of pounds 919,000 reported for the year to April 1995. Gearing then was said to be over 100 per cent.

Jeffrey Lampert, chairman and chief executive, said the suspension had not been instigated by bankers. "We had problems with the computerised accounting system for our London company, which is affecting the year- end figures. Until we totally understand where we are, I don't think it is right to trade our shares."

The London operation represents a substantial part of the group's business but Mr Lampert refused to elaborate on the problems. Neither could he say how long the shares would be suspended.

Problems with a new computer system first came to light early in 1995. In July last year the company dismissed its finance director, George Raynor, confirming Simon Gold as his replacement in November, when Mr Weeks came aboard.

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