Zetters holds interim at 4p

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The Independent Online
SHARES in Zetters, the football pools and spot the ball competition organiser, rose 2p to 115p yesterday despite recording a small dip in interim profits, writes Robert Cole.

The company held its interim dividend at 4p, a level just covered by earnings per share, which rose to 4.2p from 4.1p. If Zetters holds the full-year payment at 8p the gross yield on the shares is 8.7 per cent. Zetters made pounds 421,000 in the six months to 30 September against pounds 427,000 last time.

Analysts at Greig Middleton, the stockbroker, believe Zetters will be able to pay the full-year dividend but think the company will suffer when the new National Lottery starts up this time next year.

Greig Middleton thinks Zetters will make about pounds 1m of taxable profits in the year to next March - about the same as achieved in its last financial year.

Paul Zetter, the chairman, controls 15 per cent of the company's shares. He said yesterday: 'The current football season is progressing satisfactorily, with turnover improving on last year.'

Zetters runs bingo competitions for newspapers but profits have suffered because the popularity of the competitions has waned.

However, Mr Zetter said of competitions and marketing: 'There has been some increase in sales revenue and the operating loss has been reduced. Strenuous efforts are continuing to be made to secure new, additional contracts.'