Wheway maintains payout

WHEWAY, the air conditioning and filtration group, has maintained its interim dividend despite falling to a pre-tax loss of pounds 715,000 from a pounds 1.4m profit, writes Paul Durman.

Atlas-Wright, the group's main environmental engineering business, was the principal cause of a pounds 1.75m loss in the October-December quarter as its sales slumped by more than 50 per cent. After a good recovery in the second quarter, demand in April and May was again disappointing.

John McGowan, Wheway's chairman, said the maintained dividend of 1p a share was justified by Wheway's future rather than its immediate short-term prospects.

'We are not dependent on economic recovery for our recovery,' Mr McGowan said. Wheway looks likely to break even over the full year.

Despite a 15 per cent rise in sales by the clean air division, group turnover fell by 11 per cent to pounds 37.5m in the 26 weeks to 28 March.