Johnson Fry loses pounds 12.5m in LIT split

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The Independent Online
A LOSS before tax of pounds 12.5m in 1993, wider than the pounds 1.9m the previous year, was the price Johnson Fry Holdings paid to emerge from loss-making LIT Holdings, writes Diane Coyle.

Exceptional losses and the write- off of goodwill from the disposal of LIT's US business totalled pounds 22.7m.

Operating profits at the leading Business Expansion Scheme specialist rose from pounds 427,000 to pounds 11.2m, however, on turnover 8 per cent higher at pounds 83.4m. BES sales in the last year of the scheme more than doubled net income to pounds 15.8m. Johnson Fry raised as much in 1993 as in the previous 10 years.

Paul Gildersleeves, finance director, said the company would not be able to replace all its BES income immediately. The group is expanding its asset management activities with further investment trust launches. In 1993, operating profits from investment management rose from pounds 372,000 to pounds 1.1m, with funds under management climbing from pounds 140m to pounds 230m.

The company said it would also bid to manage local authority property. Its property division, which made profits up from pounds 982,000 to pounds 2.2m in 1993, manages more than 10,000 houses.

There will be no interim dividend. Shares fell 15p to 283p.