The Investment column: ITE on show

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The Independent Online
ITE on show

To Russian conference organiser, ITE Group made an exhibition of itself yesterday with a 68 per cent slide in first-half pre-tax profits. It said the slump masked a strong underlying performance.

Interim pre-tax profits for the half to the end of March were pounds 2.4m, down from pounds 7.53m. However, the company said a change in year-end figures meant the figures were not comparable as ITE puts on the bulk of its exhibitions in April, May and June, including the Moscow Motor Show.

Chairman Laurie Lewis said despite last summer's economic crisis in Russia, which prompted the shares to tumble from 72p to 22p, the group, which has made five acquisitions this year, would raise full-year profits.ITE has pounds 18m net cash.

One analyst yesterday described ITE as "a rare oasis of resilience", noting that the group's sales largely come from Western companies such as Mercedes and Schweppes.

The shares closed up 2.5p at 33p and look worth a punt.