Shares climb as Goode Durrant returns to black

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The Independent Online
SHARES in Goode Durrant, the equipment hire and housebuilding firm, rose 11p to 152p after it revealed a return to profit in the first half of its financial year and a small increase in dividend, writes Rupert Bruce.

Derek Kingsbury, chairman, said: 'It is encouraging to see the management situation starting to move and, having disengaged from Laidlaws at long last, having a modest increase in dividend.'

All three divisions - vehicle, equipment hire and housebuilding - increased profits but associated companies' profits fell back.

Pre-tax profit rose to pounds 4.29m after a pounds 1.8m profit in the first half of last year and a loss of pounds 15.4m in the last full year.

Earnings per share rose from 2.3p to 5.8p and the interim dividend is up marginally from 2.15p to 2.2p.

Turnover fell sharply from pounds 90.6m in the corresponding six months last year to pounds 58.1m because the Laidlaw motors and leasing businesses have been sold.

Graham Perrins, a spokesman for the Winnedael investment vehicle of the South African Nash family, which owns 24.6 per cent of the company, said: 'These are pretty good results. The core van rental business is one with a future, but we remain concerned that some of the other businesses have less promise.'

At 150p Goode shares are trading above the 120p average Winnedael paid for its interest.