London Forfaiting issues warning as profits rise 19%

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LONDON Forfaiting, the trade finance group, increased profits by 19 per cent to pounds 21.48m in 1993, but warned that this year will not be so easy, writes John Willcock.

The company's results were in line with expectations, but the shares fell 7p to 226p because of the warning from Stathis Papoutes, the chief executive, who said: 'Although trading in the current year has been less favourable than in 1993, it is too early to make useful comments about our prospects for the year as a whole.'

Forfaiting is an export financing technique involving the buying and selling of future cash flows on export contracts. London Forfaiting was able to make capital gains as interest rates fell, but analysts say the company will find it harder to make money if rates go up around the world.

Earnings per share grew 17.45 per cent to 16.15p, and the final dividend rose 10.71 per cent to 9.3p.

The company opened an office in Prague this year, continuing its international expansion.