More O'Ferrall slides to pounds 5m: Hoarding company maintains dividend
More's shares rose 12p to 242p, reflecting surprise in the market that the dividend, uncovered by earnings, was maintained.
Andrew Gore-Andrews, chairman, said: 'There is some evidence of strengthening demand for our products but after several false dawns since 1990 we are treating with caution the signs of improvement.'
Sales in the UK and Ireland were flat at pounds 38m but, stripping out the benefit of 170 new poster sites, like-for-like sales were 5 per cent down, reflecting price discounts to attract business.
Mr Gore-Andrews said most of the company's costs, such as site rental, lighting and depreciation, were beyond its control. As a result, there was a disproportionate drop in UK operating profits from pounds 7.1m to pounds 4.2m. In 1990 the division made profits of pounds 11m on sales of pounds 42m.
On the Continent, Belgium had a strong year, increasing profits from pounds 1.4m to pounds 2.1m. The company said it would be surprised to match that figure this year.
The contribution from France slipped to pounds 790,000 from pounds 855,000 and the first quarter of the current year, ahead of the election, has been quiet.
In California, a loss of about pounds 300,000 prompted the disposal of a business supplying advertising on the backs of benches at an extraordinary cost of pounds 4.8m. Taiwan made a 'useful contribution', estimated at pounds 250,000.
Mr Gore-Andrews said industry projections for growth in advertising revenue in the UK ranged between about 4 and 8 per cent in 1993.
He said the outlook was one reason for maintaining the dividend at 13.2p, despite a fall in earnings per share from 14.9p to 11.0p. The company also felt an obligation to shareholders who invested pounds 13.4m at the time of a rights issue in 1991.
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 5 Denmark bans kosher and halal slaughter as minister says ‘animal rights come before religion’
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Israel-Gaza conflict: The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The missiles were tragically real
Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
Syria conflict: Syrian and Turkish Kurds unite to battle Isis threat - ‘We shoot them like sheep, but next day double the number return’
Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star, dies aged 45
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
iJobs Money & Business
Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)
£350 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...
£500 - £560 per day: Orgtel: Java Developer FX - Banking - London - Up to £560...
£350 - £400 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...
£26000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Account Manager - (Produc...