Sterling shares climb as publisher returns to profit

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The Independent Online
SHARES in Sterling Publishing, the publisher of Debrett's Peerage, jumped 12p to 152p yesterday after the company bounced back into the black. Yesterday's rise means the shares have tripled in value since last September, writes Tom Stevenson.

Ronald Cohen, chairman, was enthusiastic: 'Sales are showing healthy increases and we look forward to reporting a further period of strong growth in a year's time.'

The demise of the regimes in Eastern Europe had opened up many opportunities. Last year the company launched the Encyclopaedia of Polish Industry in conjunction with the Polish state investment agency. A similar publication is planned for this year covering the former Soviet Union.

The core international publishing business added 11 new titles to its portfolio of 65 technical books. The additions helped to push operating profits up 29 per cent to pounds 4.4m.

Turret Group, the publisher of monthly and bi-monthly titles, recorded a jump in profits from pounds 900,000 to pounds 1.2m.

Most of the comparable period's loss was caused by a change to FRS3 accounting, which meant that extraordinary charges had been restated as exceptional items. However, at the operating level profits were more than twice as high at pounds 6.5m.

Earnings per share emerged at 9.1p compared with a loss of 33.8p. A final dividend of 2.4p makes a total for the year of 3p, up 20 per cent.