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The Independent Online
LAMBERT HOWARTH, the shoe group, stepped out with a total dividend of 12.5p a share against 8.5p, although profits after restructuring costs were down. The shares rose 35p to 215p after the figures.

There are vague rumblings of corporate action. A rival unquoted leather group, thought to be Mandora Leathercraft, has established a 5 per cent stake and could be hostile.

Lambert's shares peaked at 242.5p in summer last year.