Prism surges on computer games boost

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SHARES in Prism Leisure, which stood at 58p a year ago, closed at 150p yesterday, a rise of 10p on the day, after the USM-quoted music and games group revealed a 37 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to pounds 1.34m, writes Topaz Amoore.

Shareholders enjoyed a 20 per cent increase in the total dividend as the computer games division, selling Nintendo and Sega products as well as old-style electronic games, exceeded expectations.

Robert Skelton, finance director, acknowledged that the craze for high- tech games may not last but was confident that the German subsidiary, established last year, would open up new markets in Europe.

'There will inevitably be a flattening off in demand because there's been such an explosion in the last two years. But we feel that where sales have really taken off in the UK, there is still an undeveloped Continental market where they are still playing the older-style games.'

Sales rose by pounds 2m to pounds 15.5m in the year to 28 March. Prism has pounds 1.5m cash, but warned that its board games division, Paul Lamond Games, would be a drain on cash in the months leading up to Christmas.

Earnings per share increased from 8.4p to 10.4p. A final dividend of 2.37p, up 20 per cent, gave a total for the year of 3.27p.