Results deepen slide at Porter Chadburn

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The Independent Online
PORTER CHADBURN, the recession-battered conglomerate, saw its shares slide by 3p to 15p yesterday, following worse-than-expected interim results and an abandoned dividend, writes John Murray.

The group cut pre-tax losses from pounds 5.3m to pounds 1.4m for the six months to 1 October, but last year's operating profit of pounds 2.2m dissolved into an operating loss of pounds 62,000.

Last year's figures were affected by an exceptional charge of pounds 7m, while yesterday's results showed charges of just pounds 675,000 against the cost of losing loss-making operations.

Patrick Barrett, chairman, warned on profits at the group's annual meeting in September. He said yesterday that the company was pursuing its strategy of focusing on its US packaging and labelling business, while trying to sell other activities.

Porter's UK consumer businesses, such as Head tennis rackets, luggage and footwear, have been particularly badly affected by the recession.

Losses per share, before exceptional items, were 1p compared with earnings of 1.26p last time. Mr Barrett said the final dividend would depend on the full-year results and trading prospects at the time.