Stellar puts rocket into Ross results

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The Independent Online
ROSS Group, the packaging and consumer electronics group, yesterday reported a 13-fold increase in taxable profits to pounds 1.35m for the half year to 30 June, writes Neil Thapar.

The result, achieved on a surge in turnover from pounds 501,000 to pounds 23.5m, reflects the first six-month profits contribution of pounds 900,000 from Stellar, the car alarms business acquired for almost pounds 9m last November.

In addition, profit margins across the group rose because of cost cutting and an improving market share. The previous year's result was also affected by a pounds 400,000 exceptional charge.

Interest charges rose from pounds 265,000 to pounds 468,000. The group's borrowings jumped to 50 per cent of net assets at the half year, but are expected to fall to about 40 per cent by the year-end, a 10-point rise over 1991.

Earnings per share improved to 0.73p against a loss of 0.15p. The interim dividend has been lifted by a third to 2p.

Analysts expected full-year profits to rise from pounds 1.3m to pounds 4m this year. The shares closed 1p lower at 25p yesterday.