Mayflower dividend cut as profits slide

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The Independent Online

Shares of Mayflower, the vehicle-parts and bus maker, fell 8 per cent to 23p yesterday after it reduced its dividend by two-thirds and said it would revamp its bus business to cope with stiff competition.

The company, which included the former prime minister John Major as one of its directors until April, said profits before tax, goodwill and exceptionals fell 16 per cent to £11.1m in the six months to 30 June on turnover of £314m, compared with £329m a year ago. John Simpson, the chief executive, said: "These are positive results in very demanding market conditions. We are managing all our businesses closely, concentrating our efforts on removing costs and improving productivity."

The company added that its international bus business, TransBus, saw costs increase significantly due to "fierce competition" in the market.

Mayflower has been hurt by a decline in demand for its new vehicle parts in the US and Europe. The company is cutting costs at its Mayflower Vehicle Systems unit, which designs, engineers and makes vehicle parts and bodies, after a slump in the heavy truck market.