Movie hits give Novo a profits blockbuster

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PROFITS have more than doubled at Novo Group, the revamped EMC Group, which specialises in media storage and distributing hit feature films around the world. This year's big contributor will be Steven Spielberg's dinosaur epic, Jurassic Park.

Novo raised pounds 8.8m in a rights issue last July to help to fund an acquisition and a capital reorganisation. During the year to 31 March it repaid dollars 4.25m worth of outstanding loan notes and converted its outstanding preference shares.

It has also resumed dividend payments, with a final dividend of 1p making a total of 1.3p.

Profits before tax rose from pounds 730,000, restated under FRS3, to pounds 1.8m and Novo said its acquisitions had been successfully integrated into the group. Novo used pounds 3.3m of the rights issue proceeds to fund the acquisition of Walport International and Walport Telmar Scandinavia last September.

The Walport Group is an important player in the distribution of rented video products to the merchant marine industry and has begun to penetrate the airline entertainment market, said Michael Woolley, chief executive. He said Walport contributed pounds 494,000 (aided by exceptional currency movements) since September to operating profits of pounds 2.31m, which were up by 36 per cent.

The group's net interest bill fell from pounds 612,000 to pounds 401,000. Earnings per share increased by 29 per cent to 3.82p. The shares closed up 4p at 43p.