Lydney's profits hit

MAGNUS GRIMOND

A pounds 134,000 payment to a former director has all but wiped out the profits of Lydney Containers, a maker of steel security cabinets acquired for pounds 1.7m by plant hire group Shorco in February.

Shorco said Lydney's contribution of pounds 136,000 to the group's interim profits was almost completely offset by the payment, made in compensation for loss of office.

The exceptional charge meant group profits edged up to pounds 313,000 from pounds 306,000 in the six months to February, and cut earnings per share to 3.6p from 4.3p.

John Robertshaw, chairman, said trading at Lydney had been maintained at a satisfactory level and the company continued to seek further suitable acquisitions.

From time to time the company had received approaches that could have led to merger or takeover proposals, he said. To date, none had reached a stage where they could be put to shareholders.

The shares added 6p to 89p yesterday.

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