Holliday Chemicals beats its own forecast

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NEWLY floated Holliday Chemicals has made profits marginally ahead of its own estimate, published with a profit warning in November, writes Robert Cole.

It made taxable profits of pounds 13.1m for the year to 31 December, 6 per cent up on 1992, if the effects of the flotation in April are ignored. In November the company said it expected profits on a comparable basis to stand still.

The profits warning led to a 25 per cent fall in Holliday's share price.

The shares were issued at 195p but slumped to 157p in January. The stock has since recovered and rose 5p to close at 214p yesterday.

Michael Peagram, chairman, said the company was eager to use the resurrected share price as a platform to launch acquisitions. He is actively researching the purchase of European-based businesses with annual sales of at least pounds 10m.

The company said that current year profits would be boosted by about pounds 2m from favourable movements in exchange rates. Forecasters expect Holliday to make pre-tax profits of about pounds 16m this year.

Earnings per share for 1993, adjusted for the flotation, increased by 5 per cent to 11.5p. The final diviend is 2.4p, making a total of 4p.