Royal Doulton in optimistic mood after Pearson release

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The Independent Online
ROYAL DOULTON yesterday cheered the City with an upbeat assessment of its prospects in its first set of results as an independent company, writes Heather Connon.

The group was demerged from Pearson last December and the costs of demerger, combined with a pounds 2.3m management charge from its former parent, meant that pre-tax profits dropped from pounds 3.9m to pounds 3m in 1993.

But the group estimates that, excluding the effect of the demerger, profits before interest were pounds 11.1m, up from pounds 10.7m last time, while earnings per share would have been 10.6p compared with 9.2p rather than the 5p loss reported. The shares rose 19p to 253p.

Sales rose by 10.4 per cent to pounds 222m, but about half the increase was due to exchange fluctuations.

The group has been developing less formal ranges of tableware for everyday use to complement its upmarket Royal Doulton, Minton and Crown Derby ranges, and Stuart Lyons, chief executive, said sales of these were strong.