Scapa to return pounds 120m to investors

SCAPA, the Blackburn-based group, intends to return pounds 120m, or about 50p a share, to shareholders after selling its paper-making products division to Voith of Germany for pounds 329m yesterday.

Last year the businesses sold made operating profits of pounds 45m on sales of pounds 263m, roughly half the entire company's business, but the market is increasingly competitive. Scapa, headed by chief executive David Dunn (pictured), will focus on its technical tapes and fastenings business, where margins have been lower but prospects are brighter. It made an operating profit of pounds 10.1m on turnover of pounds 92m in the six months to last September. The shares leapt 27p to 144p.