Profits up 41% at Dawsongroup

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DAWSONGROUP, the lorry hire company, increased pre- tax profits from pounds 3.5m to pounds 5m, a rise of 41 per cent, for the six months to 30 June. The company will also pay a dividend of 1.8p, up 20 per cent.

Dawsongroup said it benefited from improving market conditions. Tony Frendo, chairman, said: 'The short- term rental market has been very bouyant, leading to exceptionally high utilisation.'

Short-term hire over less than a year is the company's most lucrative activity. The utilisation rate was 87 per cent, up from 72 per cent in the comparable period.

Dawsongroup's annual profits before tax fell from pounds 6m in 1988 to losses of pounds 400,000 in 1990. Last year it made pounds 7.9m and analysts expect a full-year result of between pounds 11m and pounds 12m this time.

Revenues from longer-term rentals remained static and profits from the sale of lorries declined. Michael Williams, chief executive, said there were signs customers were preparing to use longer rentals.

Debt gearing was 118 per cent at the end of June and is expected to rise to 170 per cent by the end of the year.

Earnings per share rose 40 per cent to 10.8p. The shares were unchanged at 385p.