Harland Simon Plc, the printing systems and process control group which in February issued a profit warning, has been undergoing a time of review and has decided to shake out its non-core activities, to focus on its electrical and electronic businesses. The streamlining programme will involve the sale of Harland’s mechanical engineering operations. The group warned earlier this year that its profits for the 12 months to March 31 would likely be down to #4m, from #10.4m, owing to the collapse of the Maxwell empire (CI No 1,860). Just a few days later, Harland’s former chairman, David Mahony, was reinstated. Now, the group reports to be in advanced negotiations with a potential buyer for Vickerys Ltd, designer of equipment for the paper and water industries, and also wants to sell two businesses in Sweden. The board reports that, if current discussions come to fruition, potential disposals will realise well in excess of the businesses’ collective book value. The news was good for a sixpenny lift in the share price to 85 pence.
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