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May 25, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

The remaining parts of Thorn EMI Plc that are still relevant to the Computergram readership are pretty vestigial these days and are all up for sale. Reporting pre-tax profits for the year to March up 19% to ?365m yesterday, the company, which is looking for buyers for its electronics, defence and security businesses, said it was in deep discussions on three divestments. We’re doing very well, chairman Sir Colin Southgate told Reuter in a telephone interview. Non-core divestments raised ?192.3m cash during the year, and he expects further sales this year – but the businesses are looking increasingly unattractive, with what Thorn lumps together as security and electronics turning in a ?11.6m loss against a ?1.5m profit last time. The company says the security business made strong progress towards a return to profitability during the year. Also for sale are parts of the defence division, the group’s loss-making electronics division, Thorn’s share of a joint venture with Babcock International Group Plc and its ticketing and security card activities. Thorn EMI could split its core music and rentals divisions when it has finished divesting the three unwanted businesses, Sir Colin said. Thorn said the rentals business was performing excellently, up 13%, bearing out the group’s philosophy of refocusing on music and rental and expanding the rental side into new areas. The shares fell ninepence after the announcement to hit ?10.87 because profit was below expectations.

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