Profits kept down at Ellis & Everard

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The Independent Online
A SEVERANCE payment to Ellis & Everard's former chairman helped to depress the chemical distributor's pre-tax profits to pounds 6.5m ( pounds 7.5m) for the six months to 31 October, writes John Murray.

The company paid pounds 350,000 to Mike Marshall, the former executive chairman, who quit last July after boardroom disagreements.

Group turnover was down 4 per cent to pounds 190m after disposals, but was stable in continuing business. Sales in the UK rose 9 per cent. Sales in the US were also higher in volume terms, but lower after translation into sterling.

The problems for the group remained its swimming pools chemicals division, where sales fell sharply after a good start to the year, and its Spanish subsidiary, Preymer.

Earnings per share fell from 6.7p to 5.5p, but the interim dividend is maintained at 2.25p. Analysts shaved their profits forecast for the full year to pounds 12m- pounds 13m.

Ellis & Everard shares closed down 7p at 188p.