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September 18, 1995

ARLEN 26% AHEAD

By CBR Staff Writer

It is usually only through the help of the people at the London Stock Exchange that we get the results of Arlen Plc. The Slough, Berkshire company is notorious for withholding its figures from public view, and refusing to talk to anybody about them (CI No 2,646, 2,501), and Friday was no exception. Arlen’s principal market sector is the much-maligned UK housing industry, which is still in a slump following the bloated 1980s. Arlen is holding its own, it says, through tight control of the business and over working capital, resulting in pre-tax profits up 26% at ú1.5m on turnover down 4% at ú14.6m. The drop in sales is particularly worrying for the company, which said it depends on strong turnover. The uncertainty in the housing market made it diff icult for the company to give realistic comments on future progress, or current, for that matter. The company claimed to have a strong balance sheet, which was not available, but expansion by acquisition is apparently the directors’ plan. The interim dividend was 0.2 pence per share, against nothing last time. Arlen shares fell tuppence on the day to stand at 37 pence.

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