Lamont pegs payout on upbeat finish

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The Independent Online
LAMONT HOLDINGS, the textile company that shocked the City last October when it announced a 44 per cent fall in interim profits, yesterday unveiled the benefits of a traditionally strong second half with final pre-tax profits down only 22 per cent at pounds 6.31m, writes Topaz Amoore.

The shares, which fell 65p to 238p when the interim figures came out, slipped 3p to close at 310p. Lamont held its final dividend at 8.5p leaving the total for the year unchanged at 12p.

Interest charges in 1992 rose to pounds 698,000 from pounds 68,000, mainly from debt assumed on the rights issue- funded acquisition in June of Alexander Drew, the Rochdale-based printer.

The ICS Computing Group, which is up for sale, made losses of pounds 300,000 and Shaw Carpets continued to trade at a loss.

Julia Blake, an analyst at BZW, the house broker, said Shaw's bread-and- butter business - basic tufted carpets - had been neglected in favour of higher added-value carpets. 'Margins in higher quality carpets are fantastic in normal markets, but they just couldn't sell them.'

Group operating profit fell by 14.4 per cent to pounds 7m on turnover up 5.8 per cent. Earnings were 16.09p against 21.84p last time.