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Beaufort, a business services group, rose 1.25p to 4.25p after posting more than doubled profits of pounds 504,000. well ahead of subdued expectations. There are hopes it will nudge pounds 1m this year. The group, which embraces a consultancy managing and marketing sponsorships, arrived in November at 3p. Then there was talk of profits at pounds 650,000. Beaufort is casting around for acquisitions and is talking to six companies.

Proteus International, the drug group, has appointed Panmure Gordon as joint stockbroker with Teather & Greenwood. The shares rose 2p to 50p.

John Lusty, the food group suspended at 8.5p in March, should return to market later this month. It is paying pounds 3m in cash and shares for Ryne Quality Confectionery.