Profits decline slightly at Lyons


LYONS Irish Holdings, the tea group which is being acquired by Unilever Ireland, has recorded a drop in pre tax profit from £4.736 million to £4.537 million in the six months to March 2nd, 1996. Group sales rose from £14.1 million to £14.3 million.

The chairman, Mr Pierce Butler, the results were in line with budgets. He attributed the profit decline to the costs associated with the new minstrel advertising campaign. This campaign, he said, should result in higher sales and profits in the second six months.

Unilever Ireland, the Irish subsidiary of Unilever, the Anglo Dutch multi national, agreed to buy the 75 per cent of Lyons held by Allied Domecq for £73 million early last February.

Unilever is waiting for clearance of the deal from the Minister for Enterprise and Employment, Mr Bruton. If this is received, Unilever to make an offer of 325p any dividend paid this year in accordance with the requirements of the code on takeovers and mergers.

Mr Butler said there had been no further developments but share holders would be informed as soon as these were forthcoming. Unilever is interested in Lyons' 56 per cent share of the Irish tea market and does not want to retain the company's share quotation.

Earnings per share grew from 12.84p to 12.86p due to the lower tax. The interim dividend is being raised from 7.35p to 7.8p.